The BJP has threatened to pull out of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government headed by Conrad K. Sangma within a month over alleged corruption and illegal activities.
Including the BJP’s two, the MDA currently has 46 MLAs in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly. Half of the legislators belong to the National People’s Party (NPP), of which Mr. Sangma is the national president.
“We may withdraw support within a month. We have had discussions with our national president [J.P. Nadda] in this regard,” the BJP national vice-president and Meghalaya in-charge M. Chuba Ao told journalists in Shillong on September 3.
He also said the party was gathering evidence of illegal activities and corruption under the MDA government. “We have received many complaints but we need the evidence. Once we get the documents, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will be here,” he said.
He indicated that the NPP was running the government at the BJP’s cost.
This is not the first time that the BJP has threatened to withdraw from the NPP-led alliance government. In September 2020, State party president Ernest Mawrie had issued a similar threat, accusing the NPP of large-scale corruption and illegal activities such as rat-hole coal mining.
But BJP insiders said the situation is different this time, with less than six months to go for the Assembly election. One of the factors has been the “attempted decimation” of Mr. Sangma’s biggest critic, State BJP vice-president Bernard N. Marak, who was arrested more than a month ago for allegedly running a sex racket from his farmhouse near Tura town.
Tura, the nerve centre of the Garo Hills, is the home turf of Mr. Sangma that Mr. Marak has been eyeing.
The State BJP has been insisting that Mr. Marak was framed. “We have not abandoned him. We will take a call after the court gives its verdict in his case,” Mr. Ao said.
Senior NPP leader and Meghalaya’s Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong, played down the BJP’s threat. “We will see when it happens,” he said, reiterating his party’s decision to stick to its “tradition” of not going for any pre-poll alliance.