National People’s Party (NPP) national president and Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad Sangma, on March 16 said his party is open to supporting the BJP government in Manipur.
“I have made it clear to the NDA and the BJP leaders that they have the numbers and they don’t require the support of any political party but if the BJP so desires that the coalition principle that we are following in other parts of the country be followed in Manipur, we are open to supporting the BJP government in Manipur,” Sangma told reporters.
When asked about Meghalaya, the NPP chief said the party is committed to work with all the MDA coalition partners.
“Every single six coalition partners in Meghalaya have supported us when we needed them. And they have stuck with the government and the MDA in difficult times. Therefore, it is the duty of the government and of the leadership to ensure we appreciate and ensure we fulfil the commitments that we have given to each one of them,” he said.
Stating that there is no question of a strained relationship between the NPP and the BJP, CM Conrad Sangma said that the NPP has always fought elections on its own terms.
“Whether it is Manipur in this election or Manipur in the last election, whether it is Meghalaya election, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland – in every election we have fought elections separately, we have never fought any elections with any political party, there was no alliance. Therefore, there is no question of strain or stress, these are the dynamics of politics and this is how things go and obviously we as a party would look at the interest of the NPP,” Sangma said.
“Having said that we are still supporting the NDA at the Centre, we are still part of the NEDA, we are still having a strong relationship (with the BJP) in Arunachal Pradesh and we are obviously together in the government here in Meghalaya. Therefore, these kinds of political situations will always happen but there is a long-term relationship that we see and in such situations we will accordingly decide,” Sangma added.
Meanwhile, the NPP national president said that the party had expected to cross the double-digit in Manipur but managed to get 7 seats and came second in 15 seats.
“In fact, about 5 seats we lost by less than 300 votes so it was a very close call for us and if things would have been slightly better we would have crossed the double-digit mark. We also saw that the NPP has emerged as the second largest party and we have increased our vote share from 5 percent to 17 percent which is a huge jump and reflects the kind of growth that the party is having,” Sangma added.
“Having said that, yes it did not go as we planned but that is the nature of politics and we will see how things unfold in the next few days and accordingly we will decide how to move forward,” he added.