Being the junior partner in Govt
Understanding the bottomline
Keep the Congress out of power. This is the primary reason, the other being the number equation, for the BJP not hesitating to don the role of small brother in Government formation with the NPP at Meghalaya with just 2 MLAs in the house of 60. Numerically speaking the NPP led coalition Government at Meghalaya can very well survive without the BJP as it has the support of the UDP (8 MLAs), the PDF with four MLAs, the HSDP with two MLAs and two other Independents in the House of sixty. The Congress there at Meghalaya is a close second with 19 MLAs in its kitty to NPP which has 22 MLAs. The point is, the NPP and the BJP seem to know how to run a coalition Government and it is also obvious that the BJP at the Centre knows how a coalition Government should work. This should explain why despite winning over 300 seats the BJP still decided to go along with its partners and hence the BJP led NDA Government at New Delhi. A look at neighbouring Nagaland should also tell the story of how a coalition Government has worked just fine till now after the 2018 Assembly elections. The NPF emerged the single largest party after the elections, but it was the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) under Nephiu Rio which went ahead and formed the Government with just 18 MLAs, thanks to the support it received from the BJP, which has 12 MLAs and the NPP with 2 MLAs. Partners in three North Eastern States and the primary objective of both the NPP and the BJP in Meghalaya is to keep the Congress out of power while in Nagaland, the equation may be a bit different with the Congress failing to win even one seat. In Arunachal Pradesh too, the NPP with five MLAs has been the junior partner in the Government with the BJP sitting comfortably with 41 MLAs.
In Manipur too, the NPP is a junior partner, but the big difference is, of the four MLAs in its kitty, all four made it to the Council of Ministers. But now with two dropped, attention is on the NPP on what course of action it is likely to take, but nothing seems to be clear, even five days after the Ministry reshuffle. It is obvious that the trip to Shillong to meet NPP National president Conrad Sangma has not helped the State unit of the NPP to take a definite decision, considerably watering down their earlier hardline stand, which went something like ‘If anyone of us is dropped, then we will all walk out of the coalition Government,’ to still sticking to the sage advice from Conrad Sangma to ‘wait and watch.’ Clear then that to the State unit of the NPP, it is not so much a question of keeping the Congress out of power, but rather one of ensuring that they all get Ministerial berths, something which will not fall in line with what Conrad Sangma has in mind. The bottomline is, the NPP here should stop acting like the spoilt little brother, throwing tantrums and act on what it believes in. Sticking to the same line even five days after the reshuffle would not exactly paint it good in the eyes of the people and remember Manipur will go to polls in 2022. And there is also the by elections coming up in some Assembly Constituencies and the NPP has already announced that it would field its own candidates.