Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary and Meghalaya in-charge, M. Chuba Ao on January 27 said regional parties cannot go to Delhi without the party’s help and that is why they cannot form government without it.
Ao said that in small states running a government would be difficult, since they would have to depend on the Centre.
“We are a national party and when we are in power they (regional parties) will definitely need our help. Without us they cannot go to Delhi and that is why without us they cannot form the government,” he told reporters.
On apprehensions that the BJP may indulge in horse-trading after the assembly polls in Meghalaya, he said that the party will not do any such thing.
Ao also pointed out that all the regional parties are part of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) under the chairmanship of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
“So time will come where we will be together at the same table. We will work it out that time. So who will be going to poach other political parties,” Ao said.
He also said that as per the BJP’s assessment the Congress will win only 3-4 seats in the upcoming assembly polls.
Ao also said that despite allegations of corruption against the National People’s Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) by his party, they still chose to remain in the coalition because if they pulled out they felt that the saffron party would be blamed for the fall of the government.
“We are all in the coalition government. We have calculated that since this is our own alliance we are giving maximum opportunity to them to correct themselves. Had we pulled out the government would have fallen…there were many (alternative) alliances. The blame would have come on us,” Ao said.
He said that the BJP wanted to end the term peacefully.
On the claim of the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma that the opinion to pull out of the government was a decision of an individual, Chuba cleared the air by saying that anyone can propose but it has to be discussed in the party’s forum.
“Things were discussed and we said that hardly only two months are left for the term of the government to end so why should we pull out,” he said.
Ao also said that the party will come to power on its own this time.
When asked if the late announcement of candidates would be a disadvantage for the BJP, he said that it always does that.
“We announce at the last moment, because after seeing most of the things are settled then we come out with the issues,” he said.
Asked if the friction between the BJP and the NPP in the run-up to the election will prevent them from working together after the polls, Ao said that everything is possible in politics.
“We have to fight the elections…we have to win by arguing with each other. But once we win means everything is forgotten,” he said.
Asked if he is not ruling out the possibility of BJP and the NPP working together after the assembly results, Ao said that the party will win a complete majority.
“We are the national party and all the regional parties we have to take (them) together. We will take everybody together because we have to run the country,” Ao said.
When asked if the situation in Manipur wherein the NPP was not included in the government will be repeated in this state, he said that the position in that state was different since they tried to pull out of the government and disrupt the saffron party’s position.
“The chemistry didn’t work…they (NPP Manipur) can support, there is no problem,” Ao said.