Far from reaching out to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the hopes of joining it, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Dr Mukul Sangma said today that it was the BJP MLA Alexander Laloo Hek who urged him to do whatever he could to ensure that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government did not return to power.
It has been rumoured extensively that Dr Sangma was about to jump ship into the arms of the BJP and had even held meetings in New Delhi in this regard. Hek had earlier also briefed the media about informal meetings he had had with Dr Sangma about joining the saffron brigade.
In a TMC release today, it was stated that suggestions of defection were only “rumours” that are “based in speculation”.
The party reiterated the need for a united and stronger opposition and welcomed any legislators who may want to join the TMC.
Dr Sangma admitted that he had met with Hek personally following the declaration of results for the recent Assembly election but it was the BJP legislator who was the more dissatisfied.
The TMC release claims that it was Hek, who is now a cabinet minister, who had asked Dr Sangma to ensure that the MDA regime did not return to power.
The BJP’s central leadership had, conversely, been the first party to pledge its support to the National People’s Party (NPP). The TMC had tried to stitch together a broader coalition that would exclude the NPP and BJP but these plans fell through.
“We had tea that morning (on March 3) and congratulated each other. He was also in a hurry to go to his meeting but he told me that he was not happy with the outcome of the election results. BJP went hammer and tongs to win as many seats as possible,” Dr Sangma said. “His concern was pertaining to whether we allow the continuation of this government. The only one thing he said was, ‘please do anything to see that the same regime does not come again’ and we said that we are doing it precisely.”
He also said that the events that unfolded after the results showed how “unhealthy, unscrupulous horse trading must have followed” to allow the reinstatement of the same regime.
Dr Sangma suspected that the speculations of his joining the BJP might be the handiwork of those who wanted to divert attention away from important issues.
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