Dissatisfied with the State Government’s attempts to do a Local Fund Audit to clear the air around the issue of corruption in the Autonomous District Councils the BJP now wants to take the matter to the Lok Ayukta. It is evident that the link between the BJP and the NPP-led state government is tenuous. Chairman North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), Himanta Biswa Sarma while campaigning for the Manipur by-polls recently had told the people there not to vote for smaller parties but to put their trust in the BJP which is a nationwide party and is like an all-embracing mother. The message was clear. Since NPP also contested the seats to the by-polls, Biswa Sarma’s obvious reference was not lost on the voters. This does not auger well for the MDA alliance or for the alliance that the NPP has with the BJP in Manipur where four NPP MLAs had tried to create instability after being dropped from the ministry. Somehow the patchwork happened after a visit of Manipur CM, Biren Singh to Delhi and meeting with BJP higher-ups. The status quo was restored and NPP MLAs rejoined their ministerial positions. This could not have pleased the Manipur CM for whom it was a virtual climb-down, in that he could not effect a cabinet reshuffle the way he chose to but had to bow down to the diktat of the Party bosses in Delhi.
Whether the NPP will continue to work in tandem with the BJP and vice versa in the next elections in Meghalaya is a question mark. The State BJP has been digging in its heels to attack corruption not just in the District Councils but in other areas of governance as well. After a short hiatus the State BJP President is back with his allegations and seems unlikely to quieten down. Also the BJP is watching the Congress attack the MDA Government day after day and cannot let that party take the credit for addressing corruption. Moreover, BJP being part of the MDA might have to carry the burden of guilt as much as the NPP and other coalition partners have to. So the BJP is playing a strategic game. After all, nationally the Congress is the BJP’s beta-noire and that must extend to the states as well. It won’t do for the BJP to remain nonchalant while the Congress is busy piling all the sins on the MDA Government.
Now that the BJP is approaching the Lok Ayukta it remains to be seen as to which route the Congress will take. In the last Assembly session, Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma and Power Minister James Sangma had referred to all the allegations of mis-governance as “inherited” from the previous Congress Government. But 30 months down the line the MDA should have corrected what was wrong. That is not evident. The blame game does not always work.