Mawrie Vs Hek: Leadership tussle in BJP far from over

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, July 21: The infighting in the state BJP is getting uglier and it shows no signs of abating anytime soon. With none of the parties willing to negotiate and both sides claiming the support of central leaders, an amicable solution is far from emerging.
Whether the central leaders actually take the issues of Meghalaya seriously is what casts a shadow of doubt as months of infighting and accusations have gone virtually unnoticed. The scenario is different when compared to Karnataka, Tripura or Uttarakhand where intervention was quick.
Out of the two BJP MLAs, Sanbor Shullai is seen as more of an active social leader while AL Hek, who is considered more politically savvy and has been with the BJP for a longer term than most others, has clearly emerged as the frontrunner for replacing Ernest Mawrie as the state president.
Mawrie who went all guns blazing to accuse the MDA Government of financial irregularities and even demanded a CBI inquiry, despite the BJP being part of the coalition, has now found himself isolated even as BJP members are demanding his removal from the post of President.
As of now, the division in the saffron party is wide open and is evident from the fact that ousted BJP leader KC Boro and other office bearers have now sided with Shullai to oust Mawrie.
Shullai who once had termed Mawrie as a “manipulated president” is maintaining a stoic silence over Hek’s willingness to take charge as party president. However Mawrie has contested Hek’s claim to the post, stating that the BJP is a ‘one man one post’ party and that Hek being a minister in the government was not eligible to lead the party.
This was promptly countered by BJP national council member Bashailang Khongwir who cited the example of the Nagaland BJP where the party president is also a Cabinet minister.
It will be interesting to see Sanbor Shullai’s stance on the issue when the matter is taken up by central leaders. Whether numbers will decide the appointment of a President of their choice or whether Mawrie will have the last laugh is a matter of wide speculation at least for now
It may be mentioned that the BJP, with its miniscule presence in the state, is banking on the NPP and regional parties to keep the Congress away from power. Some analysts feel that this is the only reason why the BJP central leaders are in no hurry to resolve the imbroglio over the party president issue.
Another theory doing the rounds is that central BJP leaders are using Mawrie to keep an eye on NPP’s activities in Meghalaya and other Northeastern states.

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