Congress to get more seats in northeast: Mukul Sangma
Exuding confidence that northeastern states would contribute more seats to the Congress' kitty, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Wednesday reiterated that his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi will never become the prime minister because of his fundamentalist background.
"We (Congress) are prepared for the elections. We are optimistic that the people in the region will throw their weight behind the Congress because of its revolutionary legislation and schemes launched by the party-led United Progressive Alliance government," Sangma told IANS.
"We are going to do well in Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh. In Meghalaya we will retain the Shillong parliamentary seat and we are also optimistic that the Tura parliamentary seat (represented by Nationalist Congress Party MP Agatha K Sangma) will go in favour of the Congress this time," he said.
"Though Tripura and Nagaland are tough turf for the Congress, but nonetheless we are hoping to do better in both these states," added Sangma.
Of the 25 seats in the region (14 in Assam, two each in Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and one each in Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim), Congress secured 13 in the last Lok Sabha polls in 2009 while the Bharatiya Janata Party got four seats.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) won Tripura's two seats, while one seat each was bagged by regional parties Asom Gana Parishad, All India United Democratic Front and Bodo People's Front in Assam and the Naga People's Front and the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) secured the lone parliamentary seats from Nagaland and Sikkim respectively.
Congress is in power in Manipur, Mizoram, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya while the CPI-M-led Left Front rules Tripura. The NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland is ruling in Nagaland and the SDF in Sikkim.
Asked if the recent campaign launched by the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Modi in northeastern states would ruin Congress prospects, Sangma said: "There are some well wishers for the BJP in the region, but I don't see the BJP doing better than the Congress.
"The Congress has strong roots in the region, and I am optimistic we will do much better this because of the performance of the Congress-led UPA government."
Accusing the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP to divide and polarize the country on religious communal lines, Sangma called for an all-out struggle against communal forces and ideologies through the elections.
Reiterating that he doesn't see Modi becoming a prime minister, he said: "Any person having fundamentalist background in this country cannot aspire to become prime minister. The whole issue (Modi's prime ministerial candidature) is being driven by this group which had hand in unpleasant things in the history of India.
"What would happen to India if Modiji a hardcore RSS man becomes the next prime minister? Imagine they (RSS) are going to pull strings behind the functioning of his government which is going to be dangerous for this country," he said.
(Posted on 05-03-2014)