Going into the upcoming state Assembly polls alone, the Meghalaya BJP has claimed that it is realistically expecting “10-15” out of 60 seats after an internal survey in all constituencies.
The BJP had won two seats in the last state Assembly polls in Meghalaya and had gone on to become a part of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government led by the National People’s Party (NPP), along with regional parties United Democratic Party (UDP), People’s Democratic Front (PDF) and Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Independent MLAs.
Meghalaya BJP president Ernest Mawrie on Thursday said that he had submitted a report to the party’s central leadership in the recently concluded BJP national executive committee, identifying 32 constituencies as “potential seats” though the party will be contesting in all 60 seats.
The Meghalaya Assembly elections are slated to be held on February 27.
“Last elections, we got a vote share of 9.7%, but this time we have already conducted a survey in all the constituencies, and we have found that we have the chance of getting up to 20-25% vote share. .. After conducting the survey, we are getting the indication that we are going to win 10-15 seats. At present, we only have two MLAs,” he said.
These projections by the BJP come even as Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has expressed confidence that the NPP will be able to form a single-party government this time around.
While the BJP had won two seats last, in the run-up to the election, four MLAs from other parties have joined it: H M Shangpliang from the Trinamool Congress, Samuel Sangma from the UDP, and Ferlin Sangma and Benedic Marak from the NPP.
While the NPP, TMC, UDP, HSPDP and PDF have all released at least a first list of candidates, the BJP is yet to do so. According to Mawrie, the party is still receiving applications from potential candidates.
“We are going to contest in all 60 seats. We have notified the dates for receiving applications from January 8 to 15. We have received from almost all the constituencies. There are only a few constituencies left,” he said.
The Meghalaya BJP’s relations with its ally NPP have been strained, with Mawrie in particular having raised multiple allegations of corruption in governance. Indicating the strain in the state, Mawrie said that the final decision on an alliance with the NPP is up to the central leadership.
“Though we are a part of a coalition government, we are not running the government. The chief minister and all the ministers are from their side. That decision (of breaking away from the alliance) will be taken by the central leadership. They are not just there in Meghalaya, they are a part of the NDA also so the decision will be taken higher up. The people of our state will be the best judge,” he said.