As Conrad takes 'no corrective step', NPP-BJP divorce is now final

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New Delhi, Nov 20, 2022, IANS

The BJP is set to take its poll preparedness and mega expansion strategy in Meghalaya to the next and crucial stage. The NPP-BJP divorce now looks final and it is understood that the central leadership is considering "all suggestions" made from various feedback channels from time to time.

NPP chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was given "enough opportunities" to mend his ways in running the coalition but he has not done anything as a corrective step.

The BJP is ready for 'divorce', says a saffron party insider. Matters being considered are -- first, the withdrawal of support and then 'win over' NPP's disgruntled legislators and other leaders including from Congress and Trinamool Congress at various organisational levels.

"Some of our leaders did say we will withdraw support to Conrad Sangma's government. But as a matter of principle we wanted to give him opportunities to change his ways, but there is no change," a source told this journalist.

Asked when would BJP withdraw support as was announced, the party leader said: "Even if we have not withdrawn support to the NPP-led ministry, it is also true the NPP chief has said his party will go alone in polls."

Of course, the BJP can also go on its own.

The BJP is going slow on "withdrawal of support and drastic defection from the Conrad government" because many feel withdrawal of support at this juncture may bring in political instability.

"We do not want this," the official said.

Sources said enough groundwork has been done and a number of Meghalaya MLAs, potential winning candidates and committed organisational leaders will join the BJP in presence of top central leaders immediately after the Gujarat polls.

The BJP is planning deeper penetration among 24 Garo Hills seats and the NPP may get a shock in days to come. Sources said unlike what has been hyped by a section of media the so-called pro-Hindutva image for BJP is no longer an issue in the northeast as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has provided a visionary leadership of inclusive governance and development.

Modi's ideas today were well accepted and respected at the G20 Summit, people of Meghalaya with a high percentage of education and English literacy understand the intricacies pretty well.

"People in Meghalaya and other northeast states will not like to miss the opportunity of being with the BJP, which is seen as a party of the present and future," the source said.

Elections are due by February to March 2023bin Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura.

The BJP heads a coalition regime in Tripura while it is a smaller partner to Conrad-led regime in Megahlaya having won just two MLAs in 2018.

In Nagaland, the BJP could pick up 12 seats in the 60-member Assembly.

In Meghalaya, the BJP is now trying to enlist the support from the erstwhile Congress vote-share and some from the kitties of Independent candidates of 2018 polls.

In many constituencies even managing to get 50-60 percent of Congress vote share and votes polled by Independents can do magic for the BJP.

A key Assam leader and a party office bearer has been engaged recently to help the trio M Chuba Ao (national vice president and in-charge Meghalaya) and two other leaders Sambit Patra and Rituraj Sinha.

Chuba is a senior BJP leader from Nagaland and thus his Christian background is also working as an advantage in terms of working out political strategies, they claim.

The BJP poll strategists have already prepared three categories of Assembly seats in Meghalaya.

In Category A comes about 12-15 seats, which the BJP thinks it can win.