As the cold war between the National People’s Party (NPP) and its alliance Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP_ took an ugly turn after the latter alleged the MDA Government headed by NPP of indulging in rampant corruption, the central BJP leadership has to intervene to smoothen the relationship.
The state BJP on Wednesday reaffirmed its support to the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government till the end of the term.
This came after the BJP national vice president, Dr M Chuba Ao, who is on his maiden visit to the state after taking over as new incharge of Meghalaya, met chief minister and NPP national president, Conrad K Sangma at his official residence.
He was accompanied by the party’s cabinet minister, AL Hek.
Putting to rest speculations about differences in the alliance over alleged corruption, Dr Ao said, “We will support and be together with the government till the (next) election comes.”
Stating that the party was never neglected in the MDA, he said the BJP in fact has been given good portfolios – one minister and one chairman of the MTDC. “They (party MLAs) are getting their dues and duly governing the government,” Dr Ao said.
On the deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong statement asking the BJP to pull out if they are not comfortable to be part of the MDA, the BJP leader said, “Every political party has their own opinion and ethics. He (Tynsong) is right when he stated that if not comfortable go (but) we also will tell if you are not comfortable you go, what is the harm.”
He however claimed that the BJP is still a good partner of the NPP. “We are still good partners, we are very much understanding each other…”
It may be mentioned here that the state BJP has been demanding for a CBI probe into the alleged misappropriation of central funds by the two ADCs – Garo Hills Autonomous District Council and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council.
Asked if the party would continue to pursue the issue, Dr Ao refused to comment saying that he is yet to consult the state president, Ernest Mawrie. He however said that the party will deal with corruption in a different manner.
Also stating that the issue is not a priority for the party right now, the BJP in-charge said until and unless he knows the fact he cannot jump into it as evidence (against corruption) is required.
“Everywhere there is corruption and I don’t say there is no corruption. We have to examine this as we cannot simply blame our partners and partners too cannot blame us,” he said.
Dr Ao also said that he is not aware that the state party has approached the Lokayukta for its intervention into the issue of corruption adding the matter needs to be examined properly.
Denying that his party has decided to soften its stand against corruption, the BJP leader said that the party has zero-tolerance against corruption.
“We never compromise as we have zero tolerance for corruption…but things should come out openly and we cannot just blindly jump (into conclusion),” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Ao informed that he would again sit with the party leaders to discuss the issue and sort things out. “This is not a serious matter for us and I don’t know how it comes out in the air but we have to rectify it,” he added.
When asked if he is happy with the performance of the MDA government, the BJP in-charge said the people will give the result whether they are satisfied.