UDP wants BJP out of NPP-led MDA government in Meghalaya

Correspondent Shillong, Feb 25: | Publish Date: 2/26/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

 The United Democratic Party (UDP), a key partner in the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, on Monday demand the ouster of the BJP out of the coalition over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

“We are firm on our stand that the BJP should no longer be part of the MDA government. We are just waiting for the time to see the BJP out of coalition government in the State,” UDP vice president, Allantry Franklin Dkhar told journalists. The UDP, which has nine members, including two associate members in the 60-member state Assembly, had snapped ties with the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
 “We will officially take up the issue in the upcoming MDA meeting, which is slated to be held after the election results of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council on March 2,” Dkhar said.
Asked if the UDP would break ties with the MDA, if the NPP is adamant on its demand, the UDP leader refused to comment but said. “I cannot comment on that at this juncture … we will cross the bridge when we reach there.”
When journalists asked that the UDP had the option to leave the coalition government and align with the Congress since the UDP is the “kingmaker” in any new government formation, Dkhar said, “We made him (Conrad Sangma) king it is his prerogative to take a call (on dropping the BJP from the alliance).”
He reminded that the UDP has pulled out of the BJP-led NEDA due to the controversial Bill, besides the insensitivity of the BJP leadership towards indigenous Meghalayans in particular and in the Northeast as a whole.
“It is pointless to have an association with such an alliance whose party is bringing legislation like Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which is threat to the identity to the indigenous population of the State.  We are upset with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has no respect for the sentiments of the people of the region on the Citizenship Bill,” Dkhar said. 
The six-party MDA coalition government comprises of  NPP (20 members), UDP (9), People’s Democratic Front (four), the BJP and HSPDP (two each) and Nationalist Congress Party (one)  besides an Independent member. The opposition Congress has 19 members besides lone Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement member.

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