Meghalaya Assembly Speaker and United Democratic Party (UDP) leader, Donkupar Roy, said that with the BJP going it alone in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the allegation made by the Congress that the UDP and NPP are in nexus with the saffron party has been “proved wrong”.
The BJP decided to go it alone and contest the Lok Sabha polls from both Shillong and Tura seats, though it is part of the six-party coalition government – Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA). The six-party MDA coalition government comprises National People’s Party (NPP) (20 members), UDP (7), People’s Democratic Front (4), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) (two each), Nationalist Congress Party (1) besides three Independents.
The MDA decided to support the UDP candidate, Jemino Mawthoh, from Shillong parliamentary constituency. “The BJP contesting separately will not affect us (UDP). In fact, the BJP going alone will prove wrong the allegation of Congress that the UDP and NPP are in nexus with the saffron party. Moreover, it will prove that we did not have anything to do with the BJP,” Roy said on Wednesday.
Terming the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) a “loose association,” the UDP president said that NEDA has nothing to do with the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. “NEDA is a loose association which is not even a written association or has a written agreement. We (UDP) are fighting the elections on our own and have nothing to do with them (NEDA),” he told journalists.
Formed by the BJP in 2016, NEDA is a platform of non-Congress parties from the Northeast including the UDP and NPP for raising issues concerning the Northeast including development. The UDP, however, severed ties with NEDA recently over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (CAB). When asked if CAB will be UDP’s election agenda, Roy said, “The Bill is not our issue. It is an issue of the MP (Member of Parliament), and it will not be our agenda.”
The Congress has been using CAB as one of its bullets to fire the regional parties especially the UDP and NPP for working together with the BJP. However, according to Roy, the Congress will be fully wiped out from the northeastern region once the Lok Sabha election results are out.