Shillong: Two of the aspirants for a BJP ticket for the upcoming Meghalaya Assembly polls have accused the party of “selling party tickets” to candidates while ignoring those who have worked at the grassroots.
The BJP, which is hoping to improve its tally in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly, for the first time is fielding its candidate in all the constituencies across the state.
Former Meghalaya legislator, Ismail Marak, who was denied a BJP ticket from the North Tura assembly constituency, claimed that BJP state president Ernest Mawrie had sought for a loan of Rs 10 lakh after he applied for a party ticket.
The BJP allotted the party ticket to Adamkid Sangma, who had associated with the Congress and Trinamool Congress.
“I have been with the BJP for more than two years and applied for the North Tura ticket. After I applied, the BJP president asked me to give him Rs 10 lakh. When I asked why he (BJP president) said it was a kind of loan,” Marak said on Monday.
“I told him that I cannot afford to loan him Rs. 10 lahks since I am preparing for the elections. To my utter surprise, when the party announced the list of candidates, I found out that my name did not figure in it and probably because I did not concede to the loan demanded by him,” the former legislators said.
Marak who joined the opposition Trinamool Congress on Sunday said that he will put all efforts to ensure that the Mamata Banerjee-led party will lead the new government in Meghalaya.
“I have prepared my groundwork for the BJP, but the state leadership is not recognising it. By denying a party ticket, I am emboldened to work and ensure that TMC emerges victoriously,” Marak said.
Another aspirant for BJP ticket, Michael Kharsyntiew who had applied for the party ticket from the North Shillong assembly seat also raked up the cash-for-ticket scam which had come to light in 2019.
“I was denied the ticket as I have raised the matter of cash for party ticket issue internally and even before Nalin Kohli when he was in-charge Meghalaya,” Kharsyntiew who unsuccessfully contested the 2018 assembly elections from Umsning assembly constituency said.
“They have denied me a ticket based on this issue, I feel betrayed and I wanted the truth to be known. I respect the BJP but it seems that certain members do not want the party to grow further,” he said.
Kharsyntiew who will now contest the upcoming polls as an Independent candidate from the North Shillong constituency will take on former IPS officer and BJP candidate, Mariahom Kharkrang, Voice of the People Party candidate Adelbert Nongrum and Congress candidate J.A. Lyngdoh.