Meghalaya: BJP vows political revenge in bid to destroy CM’s likely rival

State BJP vice-president Bernard N. Marak was targeted the same way as Union Home Minister Amit Shah was by Congress in 2010-11, the party said

January 26, 2023 12:08 pm | Updated 12:08 pm IST - GUWAHATI:

BJP General Secretary, B.L. Santosh 

BJP General Secretary, B.L. Santosh  | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Bharatiya Janata Party has vowed political revenge against those who sought to destroy former extremist Bernard N. Marak, the vice-president of the party’s State unit and the strongest critic of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma.

Mr. Marak, a member of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, was arrested in 2022 for allegedly running a sex racket from his farmhouse near Tura, the commercial and political hub of the western half of Meghalaya comprising the Garo Hills.

The BJP has decided to field him from the South Tura Assembly constituency represented by the Chief Minister. The party is expected to release its list of candidates for all 60 constituencies in Meghalaya by February 2.

‘Congress did the same to Amit Shah’

Launching the party’s campaign strategy on Wednesday, BJP general secretary, B.L. Santosh likened the “victimisation” of Mr. Marak to that of Home Minister Amit Shah during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in 2010-11.

“Congress did the same to Amit Shah and also sent him to jail. Look at where Amit Shah is today and where those who tried to target him are. Whoever tried to decimate Marak should be taught the same lesson,” he said during the BJP campaign meeting in Tura.

Mr. Santosh did not take names but it was apparent that the BJP meant the National People’s Party headed by Mr. Sangma. The two parties are partners in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government but do not have any pre-poll agreement.

State BJP President Ernest Mawrie agreed with Mr. Santosh that the State machinery was used to harm Mr. Marak.

“But political battles need to be fought politically, although they tried to harm Marak and his family. We must take revenge politically and democratically,” Mr. Santosh said.

The BJP won two seats in the 2018 Assembly elections. An independent MLA later joined the party.

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