SHILLONG, Jan 13: As the verbal tussle between the two national parties the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress heats up in Meghalaya, the NPP and the other regional parties are camped safely inside their fortress with a few sorties occasionally. While political pundits feel that the regional parties are only silent supporters of the BJP, the BJP denies such allegations and the Congress does not fall short of firing another round against the opposition camps by calling them ‘Judas’.
Congress taking shots at the BJP and vice-versa has become the order of the day in the political battle in the state. The Congress trains its guns towards the NPP from time to time but the other regional parties are safely grounded and seem more focused in their preparation more than the mudslinging.
Allegations have been leveled time and again about the BJP having an understanding with the NPP and the regional parties, which however remains denied. There are indications which are often raised like the BJP not fielding candidates in areas like the West Shillong Constituency, where UDP candidate, Paul Lyngdoh is the sitting legislator and up against Mohendro Rapsang of the Congress.
The BJP claims that the North East Democratic Alliance or NEDA was set up to unite the regional parties and their aspirations and has no hidden agenda of safronising the North East region, the recent political development that saw the BJP forming the government in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam speaks otherwise.
Few like the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the NPP are already part of the NEDA even though they deny that they have no political affiliation to each other.
Asked, BJP National Spokesperson, Nalin Kohli said, “People can speculate anything. Truth is one thing, speculation is another”.
Speaking of West Shillong, Kohli said, “It is not that these are allegations that are coming constantly the fact is that we have gone purely by assessment and we want to put up credible fights unfortunately we could not get a credible candidate who will do well and put up a fight and be in a winning position in 13 seats. Why restrict us to our comment in one?”
On allegation that the BJP was playing religious politics by announcing religious tourisim packages, Kohli said, “This is incorrect. It has been given to everyone not just the churches that are part of tourism. What has tourism got to do with communal agendas? The Congress is trying to run away by painting these incorrect pictures.”