Meghalaya BJP caught in internal fight, youth wing plans State-wide protest

The cracks in the Meghalaya unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are out in the open.

The State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the saffron party, has threatened to launch a State-wide protest if the “internal issues” are not resolved by changing the leadership.

This followed a cold war between the two BJP legislators – Alexander L. Hek and Sanbor Shullai – and State BJP president Ernest Mawrie over the latter’s alleged tendency to take whimsical decisions or rail against coalition partners.

On February 20, Mr. Shullai claimed Mr. Mawrie got the State president’s post through manipulations.

“The State BJP is sinking each passing day under his leadership. His removal will help the BJP grow in Meghalaya,” the MLA said.

He also defended Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma’s observation that half the BJP leaders in the State want Mr. Mawrie’s ouster.

“The Chief Minister has every right to say this since our central leadership has directed us [two MLAs] to support the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance [MDA] government,” Mr. Shullai said.

Mr. Mawrie has been critical of the BJP’s allies, specifically the National People’s Party (NPP) and its alleged misrule in the tribal councils.

The BJP is part of the multi-party MDA headed by Mr. Sangma’s NPP.

State BJYM vice-president Wallambok Khongwir said some BJP leaders have divided the party. He added that the BJP should set its house in order and bring back all disgruntled leaders who quit over the internal rumblings.

Barbs from allies

NPP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong has advised the BJP the quit the coalition if it thinks the MDA government is corrupt.

“On one hand, they are accusing us of corruption while on the other they continue to be part of the government and one of their two MLAs holds a Cabinet portfolio. Who are they trying to fool, the voters?” Mr. Tynsong said.

The United Democratic Front, a regional constituent of the MDA, has also been critical of the BJP’s allegations against the government.

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