Sanbor Shullai, one of the two BJP MLAs in Meghalaya, has described hi party as a sinking ship. (HT PHOTO)
Sanbor Shullai, one of the two BJP MLAs in Meghalaya, has described hi party as a sinking ship. (HT PHOTO)

Differences in Meghalaya BJP intensifies, coalition govt comes under strain

  • The BJP unit has also been at loggerheads with the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) dispensation with its chief Earnest Mawrie accusing it of anomalies in governance.
By David Laitphlang
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:52 PM IST

The BJP which is a partner in the ruling alliance in Meghalaya has been rocked by dissent with one of the party's two legislators in the state rebelling against state unit chief Earnest Mawrie.

BJP legislator from South Shillong, Sanbor Shullai who once raged against the Citizenship Amendment Act, even went on to say at a public meeting that the saffron party in Meghalaya is a “sinking ship.”

The BJP state unit has also been at loggerheads with the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) dispensation with Mawrie accusing it of anomalies in governance and even levelling corruption charges against it that has put the alliance under strain.

But with its own fissures out in the open, the leader of the BJP parliamentary party and health minister AL Hek acknowledged that there was a discussion with chief minister Conrad Sangma on the situation arising out of Mawrie’s repeated allegations against the National People’s Party-led state government. He also acknowledged that many people in the BJP have individually expressed that they want Mawrie to be ousted as the state BJP president.

“People are not happy with the state president’s style of functioning but that is their individual opinion and therefore to remove him (Mawrie), we have to sit as a party and take a collective decision. The CM expressed that he is not happy with the style of functioning of the BJP state president and that he had also discussed this with the national leaders…I will not deny this,” Hek said.

Hek felt it was wrong for the state president to keep on attacking the MDA government especially the CM and his family.

Government officials who did not wish to be named said an unhappy chief minister Sangma had complained to the BJP central leadership earlier this month about Mawrie and his way of functioning while claiming that almost half of the BJP leaders in Meghalaya are in favour of ousting their boss.

“I have spoken to both the MLAs (AL Hek and Sanbor Shullai) of the BJP and both of them have distanced themselves from the comments he (Mawrie) has made. Both the MLAs have told me that they are in favour of Ernest Mawrie being removed as president of the state BJP,” Sangma said.

Mawrie retorted by saying that Sangma who heads the NPP should not interfere in the BJP’s internal matters.

“I am very surprised. Since when has he (Conrad Sangma) become the spokesperson of our party? Because he is the national president of NPP and he is claiming that more than half of the party karyakartas have reported to him about my removal.”

He insisted that he stood by his statement. “It seems that the CM was nervous because of the issues I am raising so if he says that he is clean, let him come with the proof,” he said.

Sangma’ deputy Prestone Tynsong also joined the battle and dared the BJP to pull out of the alliance.

“Let your (BJP) action speak louder than your words by withdrawing support instead of criticizing the government which you are also part and parcel of. Are these people not becoming a laughing stock? On one hand, you say MDA is corrupted and on the other hand, you say are a partner. Is it logical?” Tynsong said.

Hek responded that it is for the party’s national leadership to decide on whether to withdraw support to the NPP-led government.

“We have no issues if the national leadership of the BJP tells us (to pull out of the MDA government). Therefore, it is for the national leadership to take a call (on this issue) and not for us,” Hek emphasised.

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