SHILLONG, Sep 04: Independent legislator from Mookaiaw, Robinus Syngkon has informed that as many as seven sitting legislators are preparing to join the BJP ahead of the 2018 elections in the state.
Syngkon added to this by saying that these include legislators from the Congress party, from regional parties and also independents even as he refused to name anyone.
Earlier, the BJP Meghalaya state had announced that Syngkon and Justine Dkhar, who are presently supporting the ruling Congress-led state government, have joined the BJP during their meeting with the national chief Amit Shah in New Delhi.
However, Syngkon maintained that they are willing to join the BJP only if their pre-conditions which include lifting the ban on coal mining by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) are fulfilled.
“As of now, there is no move to join the BJP but we have placed our conditions before the party which has assured to look into the matter and we are still waiting for their response,” he said.
He informed that they have urged the ruling party at the Centre to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule which through a presidential notification will exempt Meghalaya from the provisions of the central laws.
On the other hand, Syngkon said that they wanted to invite the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assure the people of the state on the issues of coal mining and religious matters.
“We have asked the BJP leadership to fix for us a meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as we want him to visit the state and clarify on these matters,” he added.
His colleague, Justice Dkhar, a sitting independent legislator from Khliehriat said that the BJP had highlighted two ways on resolving the ban on coal mining which includes reducing the powers of the NGT and also by invoking the Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule.
He also informed that he had on several counts told the Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma and also the Speaker, Abu Taher Mondal about the need to give a presentation before the Prime Minister on the resolution adopted by the House.
“I have raised the issue of coal mining in almost every MUA meeting but at last I have to take up the issue myself by contacting the BJP. Of course the state government has helped in development but has neglected the main issue,” Dkhar said.
According to him, the ban on coal mining by the NGT for the past three years has affected not only the Jaintia Hills region but the entire state.
He also said that there has been a miscommunication between the BJP central leadership and the state as they are yet to decide on whether to join the party.
“We are still part of the state government and are yet to resign as parliamentary secretaries till now,” he said adding “We will wait for the outcome and then decide accordingly.”
He said that they would also be meeting the President of India apart from seeking the intervention of the Prime Minister to end the ban on coal mining in the state.