Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on February 8 maintained that Congress’ decision to support the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government will not affect the relationship between the National People’s Party (NPP) and its coalition partners including the BJP.
“The support of the Congress Legislature Party is a separate issue which will not affect the relationship with our coalition partners,” Sangma told journalists.
The NPP national chief also assured that the commitment given to the coalition partners will remain and that there is no question of compromising.
“It is not that we are here to use this situation to our advantage and start to sideline the coalition partners that will never happen and that is not the kind of principles we follow. We always remember the people who were with us during the difficult times and will continue to appreciate their support to us and ensure we don’t break our commitments to them,” the CM said.
The NPP-led MDA government is supported by the United Democratic Party, People’s Democratic Front, Hill State People’s Democratic Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement and Independents.
The chief minister also said that one has to realize that in politics there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies.
“Political differences are there at the party level but when it comes to the state, I am happy if we can work unitedly,” he said adding: “We are here to really see ultimately all political parties. Whichever party they belong to, we are always there to see the people’s interest and therefore based on the conditions or the reasons that the Congress MLAs have put that they want to come in for the interest of the people, therefore, when our interest aligned, then definitely we are also happy to work with them.”
Whether the Congress’ MLAs will be joining the NPP ahead of the 2023 assembly elections, Sangma said that is a separate chapter as right they are part of the Congress party and they have submitted a letter of support to the MDA.
“It is more important to note that they have extended their support in the interest of development and interest of the people in general, I think we will start with that and let’s see where it goes in the future and we will take decisions accordingly when the time is appropriate,” he asserted.
Asked about the possibility of a pre-poll alliance with the Congress, the chief minister said that the NPP is yet to take any decision in that line.
“But as you all know we as a party believe in fighting the elections on our own,” he added.
Stating that the NPP has been working very closely with the coalition partners for the last five years, Sangma said: “We have been through lots of difficult situations together and we have faced the storms together and therefore, the trust we have built during these last four years, I should say is tremendous”.
He added: “Obviously there is a sense of respect that we have for each other and we will discuss and see what path to take in the future, so we have not made a decision on that yet but yes we share a very warm and trusting relationship with our coalition partners and we will see when the time comes.”
Meanwhile, Sangma informed that he would soon convene a meeting of the MDA to discuss the important development with all the coalition partners.
“We always convene the meeting of the MDA before the session is held. The session also is coming very soon. We have proposed to the Governor so as and when he approves, we will share the dates with you. Of course, this is also an important development, so we will be calling an MDA meeting shortly and will definitely be discussing with the MDA partners,” he said.