Meghalaya BJP to remain silent on ILP issue

​​​Meghalaya BJP president Ernest Mawrie on Monday hinted that the ILP issue will not be part of the BJP manifesto as the party aims to focus more on development programmes.

Speaking to the media in Shillong, the BJP leader disclosed that the party will release its election manifesto next week. The party identified points to be highlighted in the manifesto at its core committee meeting in Tura.

“Manifesto is prepared and we discussed it in Tura when BL Santosh, National General Secretary Organisation visited Tura in that meeting we have already laid down the points for the election manifesto. Immediately after the announcement of the candidate list we will release the manifesto,” Mawrie said.

Asked about the ILP issue, Mawrie said that the state government had already passed an official resolution on the ILP issue in the Assembly on the matter. “All the MLAs have supported the issue and the matter has gone to the central government. Therefore, the central government will take its own course and decide. Let us wait for the Centre’s decision,” he said.

The demand for an inner line permit in the state is not new; it became even stronger after the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act. A long-pending demand of the pressure groups and the political parties of Meghalaya’No ILP, No Rest’ reverberates across the state, but it has not been able to change Delhi’s mind on the issue. The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in December 2019 adopted a resolution for implementing ILP, which places restrictions on the entry of ‘outsiders” into the hill state.

The centre has been silent on the issue and the delay in implementing the ILP has caused resentment and hurt stakeholders and political parties. Since the centre has not spoken out, the people and political leaders remain in the dark about the fate of the resolution.

The BJP, invoking its slogan “Sab ka saat, sab ka bikas,” is not ready to touch this important issue. The state BJP leader said the party was focused on development.

“We don’t have good infrastructure in terms of roads, we don’t have medical colleges, engineering colleges and people now they always discussed about traffic congestion – so all these issues will be solved if we have a double engine government – a government here in Meghalaya and a government in Delhi. Looking at neighbouring state, development has taken place in a faster pace in terms of roads, colleges and medical colleges – I think the people in Meghalaya they have the same aspirations that they want development and we have so many issues which will take up  when we get a chance to form the government,” he added.