Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma hit out at his alliance partner BJP for going to the media on the alleged illegal transportation of coal and embezzlement of central funds in Garo Hills Autonomous District Council and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council. Sangma said that if the saffron party was “not happy”, it could leave the coalition.
On the other hand, BJP legislator Sanbor Shullai on October 19 also wrote to BJP state president Ernest Mawrie, stating that the issue of building an alliance lies with central leaders and that the decision to withdraw from an alliance also lies with central leaders.
Shullai urged Mawrie to restrain from making repetitive press statements which are projecting the government, of which it is a part, in poor light and rather discuss all issues at “appropriate and accepted” forum.
“In politics, commitment given to coalition partners is very important. We respect the sentiments of our coalition partners, so there is no question of thinking that we are in a better position or somebody else is not,” Sangma, who is also national president of the National People’s Party (NPP), which leads the ruling MDA, of which the BJP is a constituent, told reporters.
The BJP has been accusing the NPP of its alleged involvement in “corruption” and had even filed an FIR with the CBI on the misappropriation of central funds in the GHADC and JHADC. It also alleged of illegal coal transportation in the state.
Sangma said that as ‘chairman’ of the MDA it was his responsibility to take the coalition partners together and make himself available to hear their concerns and work on a possible solution.
“As a chairman of the MDA, I am very much willing to discuss all the matters, but one must act in a responsible manner,” he underscored, adding that if BJP was not happy, they can withdraw from the MDA.
On state BJP president Ernest Mawrie and vice-president Bernard Marak’s statement that he was made chief minister due to the BJP, Sangma said: “The individuals who are talking now were most probably in other political parties or independents and they are not aware of the level of discussion that led to the formation of the MDA, so I think they are not in the right position to make such statements.”
Earlier, deputy chief minister and senior NPP leader Prestone Tynsong had also maintained that the BJP, which has been making serious allegations of corruption against the very government of which it was a part, was free to leave the NPP-led MDA, following which the saffron party had retorted saying the NPP could not ask it to leave the ruling coalition because “MDA exists because of BJP”.