GUWAHATI: A war of words has broken out between allies BJP and National People’s Party (NPP) in Meghalaya over alleged misappropriation of Central funds.
The fight has come to such a pass that the BJP threatened to pull out of the NPP-headed ruling alliance. The BJP, a constituent of the alliance, has two MLAs and one of them is a minister.
The saffron party alleged that funds, allocated to Garo Hills Autonomous District Council and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council by the Centre under Special Assistant Grant for development of under-developed areas, had been misappropriated in the names of ghost bridges, footpaths and repair works of official buildings and guest houses. The NPP rules both the councils.
Stating that the BJP stands against corruption, the party’s state president Ernest Mawrie said they would not tolerate any “corrupt practices”. He also demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the case.
“We will raise the matter with the state government. If it fails to take cognizance of it, we will be left with no choice but to pull out our support,” Mawrie had threatened.
The NPP shot back. It dared the BJP to withdraw from the coalition. NPP state unit president WR Kharlukhi said the BJP appeared headed towards a “tin-pot dictatorship”.
“If he (Mawrie) is so convinced that we are corrupt, why don’t they pull out of the alliance? They could have discussed the matter within the alliance instead of going to the media,” Kharlukhi said.
Meghalaya is the second state in the Northeast after Manipur where the relationship between the two parties has soured.
In June, all four NPP MLAs in Manipur had pulled out of the state’s BJP-led coalition government following differences with Chief Minister N Biren Singh. They had returned to the government when the party’s central leadership, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, assured them that their grievances would be addressed.