Shillong: National People’s Party (NPP) national president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday said his party was open to supporting the BJP government in Manipur.
“I have made it clear to the NDA and the BJP leaders that they have the numbers and they don’t require the support of any political party, but if the BJP so desires that the coalition principle that we are following in other parts of the country be followed in Manipur, we are open to supporting the BJP government in Manipur,” Sangma told reporters here.
Noting that there was no question of a ‘strained relationship’ between the NPP and the BJP, Sangma said that the NPP had always fought elections on its own terms.
“Whether it is Manipur in this election or Manipur in the last election, whether it is Meghalaya election, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland – in every election we have fought separately. We have never fought any election with any political party, there was no alliance. Therefore, there is no question of strain or stress. These are the dynamics of politics and this is how things go and obviously we as a party would look at the interest of the NPP,” he said.
“Having said that we are still supporting the NDA at the Centre, we are still part of the NEDA, we are still having a strong relationship (with the BJP) in Arunachal Pradesh and we are obviously together in the government here in Meghalaya. Therefore, this kind of political situation will always happen but there is a long-term relationship that we see and in such situations, we will accordingly decide,” the NPP supremo added.
Sangma said the party had expected to cross the double-digit in Manipur but managed to get seven seats.
“In fact about five seats we lost by less than 300 votes. So it was a very close call for us and if things would have been slightly better, we would have crossed the double-digit mark. We also saw that NPP has emerged as the second-largest party and we have increased our vote share from 5 percent to 17 percent which is a huge jump and reflects the kind of growth that the party is having,” he said.