Ball in BJP's court: Conrad Sangma on alliance in Manipur


front photo
Guwahati, Mar 12
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who is also the boss of the National People's Party (NPP), has indicated that his party might ally with the BJP, in Manipur. "Our winning candidates have met and we have left it to them to decide the way forward. The mandate is for the BJP, it is for them to decide. If they want our support ,then our MLAs will decide," said Mr Sangma.
Senior BJP leader and Manipur Chief minister N Biren Singh, however, said that the party would continue its alliance with the Naga People's Front (NPF) and not the NPP.
"We may be parts of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) but we always fight polls alone and with our own ideology. Later, in a post poll scenario, in case of a fractured mandate, we come together to form a Government but, in this case, the BJP has got the mandate, so the ball is in their court," Mr Sangma further said.
The NPP went solo in the State Assembly polls and became the second-largest party with seven seats after the BJP.
In 2017, the NPP had helped the BJP, which won 21 seats, to form a coalition Government in Manipur. The NPP contested only nine seats in which it won four seats - the best strike rate among all parties - and emerged as kingmaker. However, their ties soured over the years.
This time, the NPP faced a major setback as its two top party leaders - former Deputy Chief Minister Joykumar Singh and former Minister Jayanta Kumar Singh lost.
The NPP fielded total 38 candidates in the Manipur Assembly election. It won seven seats.
Mr Sangma believes the NPP is expanding as a National party, with its vote share increasing three-fold in Manipur.
"We are the only National Party born in the Northeast and we have campaigned on the fact that we are made in Northeast and made for Northeast. This is a region which needs a political party which under- stands the region and I am glad that in Manipur, the people have accepted this. Though we expected a better result than this," Mr Sangma added.
The NPP on Friday unanimously elected Tadubi MLA N Kayisii as the party's legislative leader in Manipur.
The party leads the coalition Government in Meghalaya, where the BJP is also a partner.
The NPP is also a key member of the BJP-led Northeast Democratic alliance (NEDA) in the region. NDTV