All is not well in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government and one of the ministers has broken his silence on this.
Health minister AL Hek admitted uneasy calm within the MDA government over corruption allegations.
He informed that it was for the first time that ‘unhappiness’ within the coalition was discussed among some ministers in the cabinet meeting.
There have been allegations of corruption arising out of the alleged illegal transportation of coal despite the ban being imposed in Meghalaya.
Fingers are being pointed at several including home minister James Sangma and transport minister, Sniawbhalang Dhar over their inability to stop the alleged illegalities.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma who also looks after mining and geology department, could not also escape criticisms and allegations as well.
Hek, who belongs to the BJP, made it clear that his party would take a call on staying away from the MDA only after the allegations of corruption are proven.
Hek dismissed rumours that the BJP along with other coalition partners would withdraw support from the MDA.
“There is no truth in this that we will withdraw support from the MDA,” Hek told reporters.
Hek said that any allegation until and unless it is proven, it cannot be concluded as corruption.
“We see many are alleging there is huge corruption in the coal issue,” he said.
“Since the CBI inquiry has come and the Meghalaya Lokayukta has taken up the matter, if corruption is proven, we from the BJP will take a decision on what needs to be done,” he added.
“Whether to continue with the support or pull out of the MDA government will be decided accordingly,” he reiterated.
“Anything which involves corruption, the BJP is unhappy but it has to be proven first,” he further said
Hek said that said not only the BJP but all alliance partners have taken up this issue in the cabinet meeting, which is the most suitable platform.
“For the first time in the history of Meghalaya and the first time in my innings as five-time MLA that the cabinet meeting sat and discussed over removal or change of portfolio of ministers,” he said.
“This is the first time that the cabinet discussed such matters. We have discussed this in the cabinet and we had made it clear that either drop or reshuffle the portfolios,” he further said.
“I cannot deny this as we have taken up this matter in the cabinet,” Hek disclosed.
Asked about the chief minister’s response, Hek said, it is his prerogative of the chief minister and he has to take a call on the concerns of the alliance partners.
The MDA government, led by the National people’s Party (NPP), include the United Democratic Party (UDP), People’s Democratic Front (PDF), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Hill State people’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Independents.