There are two distinct camps within the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – one that sees the good and is willing to give credit to the National People’s Party (NPP) where it’s due and the other which is diametrically opposed to the latter and is keen on pointing out every flaw in the government.
Today, the incumbent Mawsynram MLA, Himalaya Shangpliang, who has defected twice in the five years since he first became a legislator, has shown himself to be in the camp that can work with the NPP.
Shangpliang filed his nomination papers for the February 27 election today. He won in 2018 on a Congress Party ticket but then switched to the Trinamool Congress in 2021 before jumping ship again into the arms of the BJP ahead of the polls.
Contradicting his party colleague and Pynthorumkhrah representative AL Hek, Shangpliang said that it is not the right time for a blame game and he would rather work towards developing Meghalaya.
“I will not say that the MDA has not done anything,” he told reporters. “There were ups and downs and we need to take the state forward by working together to bring development.”
The BJP is never helped in Christian majority Meghalaya with its roots being found in strident Hindu nationalism. Recently, the party had to weather storms over attacks on Christians in other parts of the country and a recent demand from a group with ties to the BJP’s parent body, the RSS, to deny Christians Scheduled Tribe status.
The latter could not be a worse issue as Meghalaya is both a Christian majority state as well as tribal one. Understandably, Shangpliang declined to comment on the issue. However, he denied that the BJP is anti-minority.
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