The Tura committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has reacted furiously to Pramod Koch’s “betrayal” of the party by siding with the National People’s Party (NPP) in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
Koch was one of only two MDCs the BJP returned to the GHADC in last month’s elections, the other being Bernard Marak. Koch lent his support to the NPP in forming the new executive committee and has been issued a show-cause notice by the BJP party machinery.
In a press release today, the BJP Tura general secretary, Wilver GM Danggo, said that Koch had betrayed Marak and “BJP Garo leaders in extending support to the NPP.” The release had a communal colour, as it began with the words, “Koch betrayed a Garo”, Koch being the name of a tribe, not just a surname.
Danggo said that Koch, the new MDC for Barengapara, did not consult with the party before supporting the new EC. In fact, the press release stated that Koch defied the party line, as it had been resolved at a meeting with state and national leaders that the two BJP councillors would “stick together and stand firm” in the party’s demand for certain portfolios before siding with the NPP. Despite having a strength of just two, the BJP had apparently been demanding the Chief Executive Member’s chair for Marak.
Koch, Danggo went on to add, betrayed the party for plum posts and a “good amount”, suggesting a cash inducement. The NPP declined to try and bribe Marak away from the BJP because the former saw him as a threat to the Chief Minister, he opined; Marak had won the Tura seat, which is the CM Conrad Sangma’s backyard.