The tussle for cabinet berth within the alliance partners in Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) Government is not a new thing; however, the yearlong uncertainty over the seat-sharing agreement for the cabinet berth between the two legislators of the Bharatiya Janata Party has finally ended.
BJP legislator from South Shillong, Sanbor Shullai has decided to extend full support to his party colleague, AL Hek to continue as a cabinet minister in the MDA government till the end of the five-year term.
Shullai announced his decision after a meeting held with party leaders from the Ri Bhoi district on Tuesday in the presence of AL Hek.
The BJP legislator has written a letter to the BJP national president JP Nadda informing him about his decision to let health minister (another BJP MLA) A L Hek to continue as the minister for the entire term of the MDA government.
In the letter, Shullai said, “He (Hek) is a good human being and has very respectable image amongst the electorate, hence, in the best interest of the party and the people of our state I would like to state that Shri AL Hek must continue as Minister till the completion of full terms of this Government under our party’s banner.”
“Under his leadership and he being the leader of masses, we have good chance to secure the maximum number of seats in the upcoming election in 2013,” he wrote.
The MLA had also submitted a letter on the matter to the BJP national president, JP Nadda on December 10.
Speaking to reporters, Shullai said that the decision was taken after due consultation with his supporters.
“I have accepted their suggestion that time is limited to go the battlefield meaning that we have only got two years in hand for the next election…finally I have given this letter that Hek, being a senior leader of the party should continue (as a minister) till the end of this term and I will continue to work for the people of my constituency…,” he said.
Asserting the need to strengthen the party organization in the state, Shullai said, “I also had a discussion with Hek that we should not confine only in our own constituencies but we need to spread our wings to other parts of the state to strengthen the party.”
He said that the party is targeting to get at least 15-20 seats in the upcoming 2023 elections to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to ensure that a BJP-led government is formed in the state.
“Therefore, we need to go and spread our wings to enlighten the people of Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Khasi Hills. In this way, our target to get more MLAs in the coming elections can be achieved,” he said.
Shullai said the party has decided to start strengthening the party in all the districts of the state from January next year.
Welcoming Shullai’s decision, Hek said, “We are here to work for the government and the people, this is our resolution and our reaction. Our resolution is to serve the people.”
He also said there has been no friction among the MLAs of the party. “Sometimes in the family, we fight but there is no friction…we leave it to the wisdom of the national leaders. There has been no agreement (on seat sharing) and this is a good gesture from Shullai. Without any condition, he has come forward openly to work for the betterment of the party,” Hek said.