The BJP on Saturday threatened to withdraw support to the National People’s Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government following the spate of allegations against the government.
“We may withdraw support from the government within one month. We will discuss with our party national president (JP Nadda). Discussions are going on,” BJP’s national vice-president and Meghalaya in-charge, M Chuba Ao told reporters after a marathon meeting chaired by BJP general secretary (Organisation), B.L. Santosh. “Once the party makes a decision to withdraw support it would chalk out its strategy for its way ahead by explaining to the people why it has withdrawn its support,” he informed.
However, the Conrad Sangma-led government will not collapse even if the two BJP legislators- Alexander Laloo Hek and Sanbor Shullai- withdraw support as the effective strength of the government then will be 46 including the Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh and Deputy Speaker Timothy D. Shira in the 60-member House Meghalaya assembly.
The NPP which is leading the coalition government has 23 legislators and is supported by United Democratic Party (8), People’s Democratic Front (4), Hill State People’s Democratic Party (2), BJP (2), Nationalist Congress Party (1) and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (1) besides five suspended Congress MLAs. The opposition Trinamool Congress has 12 members.
“We have been receiving complaints of corruption against the government, but since there is no documentary evidence, the party has not been able to take any decisions,” Chuba said.
The saffron party has been openly criticising the Conrad Sangma-led government for the alleged Saubhagya scam, illegal coal mining, FCI rice scam, misuse of central funds from the Special Assistance Grant Scheme in JHADC & GHADC.
The BJP leader said that the party has instructed its workers to find documentary evidence on the scams against the present government and once that is made available, the party would make the next move. “Our people are on the job. and then the ED and the CBI would move in to investigate the charges,” the BJP leader further said.
Stating that the present MDA government is “running at the cost of the BJP” and it’s not the other way around, Ao said, “despite the party being in alliance within the present government, but some of the decisions are being taken by the government without taking the BJP into confidence.”
In the Assembly elections, Ao refused to spell out how many seats the party would contest out of the 60 seats.
He however said that the “next government cannot be formed without the BJP’s support.”
On the demand of removing its state party President, Ernest Mawrie, Ao said it would be a collective decision that would be taken by the party.
“The party is democratic we would sort out issues and everyone has to work together. We are united,” he said.
Asked on the fate of the state Vice President Bernard Marak, who is still in police custody on various criminal charges, Ao refused to comment, but said the matter is before the court and the party has confidence in the judiciary that it would take the right decision.
“We have not abandoned him, but are waiting for the court’s verdict,” he added.