Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong on Friday said the BJP is free to leave if it is not comfortable with the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government.
Tynsong made this strong reaction after the state BJP, an ally of the NPP-led MDA government, issued numerous press statements on issues related to corruption, from alleged illegal transportation of coal to ‘misutilization’ of central funds by the district councils in the state.
“The allegations of illegalities by the BJP Meghalaya unit are almost every day on district councils and the entire state of Meghalaya. Allegations can be made, but if you are a responsible party or person, the government has time and again requested to come up with papers and facts,” Tynsong told reporters.
“Going to the press is not a solution. We took a strong reservation against this because we are committed to erase illegalities right from day one of the MDA government. We want them to provide papers and facts so that action can be taken,” Tynsong, who is the MDA government spokesperson, added.
On the allegations of misutilization of funds in the two district councils – JHADC and GHADC – Tynsong said the state leadership of the BJP has raised this issue in the press but the government had already gone for a state audit into the alleged misappropriation of central funds allocated to the districts councils.
He also said the government’s doors are always opened for discussion and the allegations of corruption or illegalities should come up along with facts.
Asked if papers from the BJP or its two MLAs have come to the government on the allegations, Tynsong said, “Nothing of that sort has come from the state leadership of the BJP.”
On the statement of the PDF, another partner of the MDA government on illegal transportation of coal, Tynsong said he appreciated the PDF for raising the issue that illegalities should not happen.
“They (PDF) are responsible and they came to table for discussion with the chief minister. But the state leadership of the BJP did not,” he said.
Tynsong said the MDA government has a coordination committee where representatives from various partners of the MDA are part of the committee to discuss and address issues but the BJP did not bring the issue even to the coordination committee.
“We are not hiding anything and we are against all illegalities,” he said.
Whether the state BJP has any hidden agenda, Tynsong replied, “If you (BJP) are not comfortable, you are free to leave the MDA. That is the best way to do it.”
On alleged illegal transportation of coal despite the ban being imposed in the state, Tynsong said on the basis of illegal coal seized, and when nobody came forward to claim the seized, such coal became unclaimed coal.
“In such a situation, the seized coal which remained unclaimed, has to be taken to court, and the court would issue orders so that unclaimed coal can be auctioned. On this basis, challan was issued for auction of such unclaimed coal,” Tynsong clarified.
He, however, said the government has taken steps to ensure that illegal transportation of coal should not take place.
Earlier, the deputy chief minister, also defended that not all trucks were ferrying coal illegally.
“We issued challans to transport only seized coal and we cannot say that all trucks plying are illegal as some of them ply with legal papers,” Tynsong said.
He said most of the seized coal was from East Jaiñtia Hills district.