EDITORIAL | Meghalaya: Are we staring at cracks in MDA coalition?
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK:
The NPP-led Meghalaya government has come under continuous attacks over the power mess in the state, with a demand for the removal of Power Minister James Sangma being raised frequently.
The United Democratic Party (UDP), an ally of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), also joined the bandwagon in expressing discontentment over the financial mess in the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL).
UDP president and Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh spoke his mind on the issue and hinted at possible friction in the alliance, even as he stated that an alliance partner need not be part of the coalition for the entire term (five years).
Are we staring at cracks or frictions in the MDA coalition? Lyngdoh has, of course, reserved his comments on the demand made by the UDP General Secretary Jemino Mawthoh for the removal of the Power Minister and the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of MeECL.
Before the UDP, it was the Congress that had raised the issue inside and outside the Assembly during the recently concluded budget session, demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Power Minister James Sangma.
The situation aggravated after the issuance of notification for power regulation by the National Thermal Power Corporation of India (NTPC) and NEEPCO because of unpaid dues that accumulated over the years, even before the MDA government took over in 2018.
In a coalition government, one cannot avoid differences of opinions. Previously, it was the BJP, also an ally of the MDA coalition, who had raised allegations of corruption in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
And now it is the UDP.
However, the Party president has clarified that the demand made by general secretary Jemino Mawthoh, as projected in a letter submitted to the CM, was not the UDP’s decision.
UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh, however, stated that members of the party are free to express themselves even as he stated he was unaware of the development since he was out of the station.
On the other hand, the UDP senior leaders say otherwise. They asserted that whatever was written in the letter submitted by Mawthoh was the decision of the party, adding that the UDP stands firm on its call.
It seems there is a lack of communication between the party president, the ministers and the senior members of the UDP. While the formers (president and ministers) have asserted that the submission made by Mawthoh was not the party’s decision, the latter claim otherwise.
There were similar clashes of opinions in the BJP between the state party president and party MLAs.