SHILLONG: Senior Congress leader and Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister R C Laloo will not contest the 2018 assembly elections owing to personal reasons, a party leader said today.
Laloo had informed the Jowai Block Congress Committee of his decisions yesterday citing personal reasons for the decision and to give way to younger leaders to take the mantle, a party official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Last month, Health Minister Roshan Warjri had also informed her supporters of her decision not to contest the assembly elections due to personal problems.
Laloo faced opposition from within the party as his colleague in the cabinet Sniawbhalang Dhar had publicly announce that he is supporting the candidature of his brother -in-law W Shylla for party tickets.
While Dhar was removed from the cabinet following the announcement, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has downplayed Laloo’s decision.
"They have decided we will look for paving the way for someone else and Prof Laloo has been doing it for quite sometime, and he has been telling that he wanted to groom somebody younger. Though those were not shared with the leaders but it has been shared with me," he said.
According to Mukul Sangma, "They have told me they have briefed me why they don’t want to contest. There are some personal reasons also ... considering their own personal constraints and difficulties, (they have also given a thought) whether they will be able to still continue to do justice to the kind of responsibility with which an elected representative has been vested." Exuding confidence, the Chief Minister said the Congress will get absolute majority despite the setback with senior leaders not contesting the elections.
"We are well ahead of absolute majority. You can have your own analysis without accepting what I say. My analysis is practical and scientific, that’s why I am saying," he said.