Shillong, Aug 30: BJP State President Ernest Mawrie today said the party is yet to receive any official communication from the former Mawsynram legislator and party spokesperson Himalaya M Shangpliang about his decision to join the ruling National People’s Party (NPP).
“We have not received any official communication from Himalaya Shangpliang that he is planning or has decided to leave the party,” Mawrie said.
He said the party only came to know about the development from media reports on the statement made by deputy chief minister and NPP leader Sniawbhalang Dhar confirming that Shangpliang had approached the NPP for a ticket from the Shillong Parliamentary seat.
Mawrie however said that this was despite the fact that the BJP had done a lot of good things for Shangpliang.
“He has contested from Mawsynram from BJP ticket (in 2023 Assembly polls) and we have helped him a lot financially, physically and you have seen lots of ministers also went to his constituency to campaign for him. We have spent our time trying our best to make him win from the BJP but it is the mandate of the people, who did not support him to be BJP MLA from Mawsynram constituency.
On top of that, just after the election, we have appointed him as a spokesperson of the party and regarding the job reservation policy, we have nominated him as the chairman of that committee. So we have given him a lot of responsibility and now he has to make his own decision as we cannot bind or say you don’t leave the party, you stay with the party,” he stated.
The BJP state president said that Shanpgliang had discussed with him several times expressing his keen interest in contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the party ticket.
“However, I told him that yes when the time comes, we will recommend your name and some other names as we have not decided till today,” he said.
Mawrie further revealed that Shangpliang had also requested him to talk to coalition partners for fielding a common MDA candidate for the upcoming LS polls.
“And one condition, he verbally requested me that as president of the party, if you can have a dialogue or if you can have a discussion with the biggest party in the coalition, that this time let us field an MDA candidate. So that condition I cannot decide as the central leadership will have to decide as we have to call a meeting of all the MDA partners and as a state president I don’t have any authority to decide on that. I told him that so it ended there,” he said.
Stating that the BJP is yet to decide on the candidates for both Shillong and Tura parliamentary seats, Mawrie however said, “Shangpliang can come and meet with the party leaders, MLAs and incharge of Meghalaya and North East, if he has any grievances. He has to come and sit with us.”
He added in fact, the party had also received information from mandal people in Mawsynram that they are going to quit the BJP and join the NPP adding “Then again yesterday, it was a big statement given by the leader of the NPP.”
“As you know, NPP is part of NDA so we have not discussed it yet. Maybe from the Centre they will give a call to me and ask me about this and they may direct me to have a cordial discussion with the MDA partners,” he said.
The BJP leader said that the party in a meeting chaired by the national general secretary (organization) BL Santosh in Guwahati had decided to strengthen the party in the 25 seats in the NE region ahead of the LS polls.
“We have discussed that there are a total 25 seats of Lok Sabha in the NE. So we have decided to strengthen the party and decide on the 25 seats. For us it counts. When we have numbers of the Lok Sabha MP then our strength will be increased,” he said.
He further informed that the central leadership had entrusted all union ministers to also decide on the potential candidates for the 25 NE seats including two from Meghalaya.
“From September 15 onwards, the union minister will come and schedule the meeting to check the strength of the organization and to see whether we have potential candidates. So definitely we are the biggest political party in the world and India so we are preparing for the election,” he added.