SHILLONG, Feb 24: The United Democratic Party (UDP) is “uncomfortable” with the presence of the BJP in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) coalition.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, UDP, vice-president, Allantry F Dkhar said, “With the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill grabbing attention we are not comfortable with the BJP’s presence in the coalition.”
Dkhar pointed out that in May last year it was the MDA government which had opposed the Bill and the BJP minister in the Cabinet AL Hek was the most “”vocal” in opposing it.
Dkhar also said that the BJP and the Congress were two sides of the same coin, “…who are focused on vote-bank politics, when many of the original inhabitants of the country can’t be taken care of these parties are worried about outsiders.”
Coming under constant attack from the opposition Congress for allying with the MDA coalition which includes the BJP during the run-up to the Autonomous District Council (ADC) polls, the UDP said that it supported only the NPP and it was not the party’s concern how the saffron party was inducted into the alliance.
“The Meghalaya government is led by the NPP and ably supported by the UDP,” the party vice-president said.
The opposition Congress during its election campaign to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) allege that the MDA government is run on the whims and fancies of the BJP.
Dkhar also pointed out that initially, the regional party join the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), which was purely a non-political platform meant to carry the developmental agenda of the northeast.
“But then we saw the BJP’s intention, it did not listen to the voices of the people of the region on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Therefore we decided to part ways with the NEDA,” the UDP vice-president said.
Dkhar also lambasted former Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) chief Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit campaigning for the Congress.
The UDP leader wondered that one keeps on hearing from Ardent that he has not decided on joining the Congress. But he is campaigning for their candidates.
“What has befallen him? I pray that he wakes up and see the reality and not fall for misleading campaigns,” Dkhar added.
The UDP vice president recalled that the Congress its central working committee had adopted a resolution on November 25, 1947 which states that the party is bound to afford full protection to all those non-Muslim from Pakistan who have cross over the border and come over to India and may do so to save their life and honour.
“The Congress on numerous occasions had reiterated on its stand that it will protect the non-Muslim population from Pakistan and other countries,” he said.
Dkhar also pointed out that during an executive meeting of Assam Pradesh Congress committee (APCC) in 2015, APCC president Anjan Dutta had said, “We will take up the unresolved issue of citizenship for the Bengali Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and people of other minority communities who came to Assam after being subjected to inhuman torture post the partition of India.”
Urging people not be misled, by the misinformation campaign of the Congress, the UDP vice-president asked the electorates to be “cautious, informed and make a wise decision.”