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BJP not to jettison MDA coalition

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SHILLONG, Jan 27: The NPP’s claim that MDA partners are intact got a nod from the BJP on Friday.
BJP national vice-president and state in-charge M Chuba Ao on Friday gave a clear hint that the BJP was not averse to working with the NPP despite the heat and fury of election campaign.
Though he was not explicit, Ao stated that everything is possible in politics. “Political parties fight and win elections by making accusations each other. Everybody attacks each other during elections and this is a quite natural phenomenon. But all these will be forgotten after the outcome of the polls,” the BJP leader said.
Ao expressed confidence about his party’s poll performance and said BJP will come to power as the party’s internal assessment gives the saffron party edge over rivals.
“Our party state president had wrongly assessed that we are going to win 10 to 15 seats. This figure was mentioned without collecting data from the internal areas,” Ao said, attempting to correct Ernest Mawrie’s recent statement on the BJP’s prospect in Meghalaya.
When asked if they are going to work with the TMC if the BJP-NPP combination fails to win maximum seats after the polls, he sought to duck the query saying time is not rife for such a discussion now.
He further said his party would adopt a wait-and-watch policy and decide on the next course of action after poll results are out.
Claiming that BJP believes in “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Prayaas, Ao said in small states, the regional parties need the BJP since running a state is very difficult without 100 per cent reliance on the Centre.
“Without the BJP’s help, they cannot form the government,” BJP national vice president said.
When asked about the fact that many parties have raised concern over apprehension that the BJP will engage in horse trading post-election, he said his party never indulged in such a practice and will always refrain from it in the future.
“All the regional parties are our allies since they are part of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA). We are not going to poach MLAs of other political parties since this is unfair,” the party in-charge of Meghalaya said.
Taking a dig at the Congress, he said that the position of the Congress in Meghalaya is bad.
According to him, the party is not getting good candidates to field in polls.
“As per our assessment, the Congress is going to win a maximum of three to four seats only,” Ao said.
When asked about questions being raised to field party state vice president from South Tura, Bernard Marak, he said allegations against Marak are lying in the court and let the court decide his fate.
“We will take action as per the ruling of the court. Once exonerated, Bernard is free to contest,” he said.
When asked if the recent controversy on attacks on churches will affect party prospects, he said he envisages no such issue as Nagaland’s 12 BJP MLAs, who are Christians, have never faced any problem regarding the matter.
“This may be a local issue and I don’t know what is the inside story. I believe media is blowing the matter out of proportion projecting it as if BJP is attacking churches,” Ao said.
He further claimed that the BJP is a secular party and all are welcome to be part of it whether they are Christians or Muslims.
“At times, there are people, who try to create division,” he added.

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