Hinting that some of the top politicians from other political parties are in touch with the BJP leadership for switching over, BJP leader and cabinet minister, AL Hek have said the door is ‘widely open’ to anybody who wants to join the saffron party as he claimed that many leaders from other political parties have expressed interest to contest on a BJP ticket in 2023.
“Many sitting and former legislators including members of the district councils have approached me and the party expressing that they wanted to contest the next elections from the BJP,” Hek told reporters on Wednesday.
Stating that the door is widely open to welcome all of them, the minister however refused to divulge the names of these leaders citing that “it is too early to do that right now.”
“But quite a sizeable number of leaders from other political parties have approached and they will join the BJP. Definitely, we are also going to assess the situation and we will accommodate them as much as we can,” he said.
It may be mentioned that earlier, the minister had claimed that as many as 13 sitting legislators from the opposition Congress have expressed interest in contesting from the BJP in the coming 2023 elections.
On the other hand, Hek, who is also a parliamentary party leader, informed that they have also decided to revamp and strengthen the party organization in the different districts of the state for the Assembly elections.
“We expect to win all 60 seats and if not, we will try to get 40 seats but we should get not less than 20 seats in 2023. This is our target,” he said while expressing confidence that the next government in the state would be formed by the BJP.
“If that is not possible, then definitely we will have a BJP-led government,” he said.
Hek recalled that he was projected as the BJP chief minister’s candidate in the 2018 Assembly elections, where the party has got only two seats in the 60-member house. He however hinted that the party is expecting to get a better leader to lead the state.
“I was the CM’s candidate for the BJP and I hope they will project me this time also. But if there is a better person who is coming to join the BJP and be CM’s candidate, I will also support him/her. I am open to that as not necessarily that we should stick only to Hek, why only Hek should be CM’s candidate. Anybody can become the CM’s candidate from the BJP. So my personal door is open and I welcome anybody to join the BJP and if we get a good person to lead the BJP and If we propose him to be the chief minister, I will always welcome him,” he said.
Asked if there is any move to remove the incumbent BJP state President Ernest Mawrie, Hek however said it will all depend on the decision of the central leadership adding “we have nothing to say from the state regarding this issue.”
He also admitted that there are rumours that his party colleague and South Shillong legislator, Sanbor Shullai would be appointed as the new BJP president.
“It is well and good if Sanbor Shullai is appointed as the new BJP president as he is a well-experienced person and has been elected as MLA for many times so that we can work together to strengthen the party in Meghalaya,” he said.
“However under the leadership of Ernest Mawrie, the party is also moving forward, we are working together and there is no misunderstanding among the members of the party, we are united. BJP is one and we are going to strengthen the party further. I am telling once again that the BJP-led government will be there in 2023,” he stated.