New Delhi: Hours after the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) staked claim to form government in Meghalaya, Union minister KJ Alphons said that ensuring the Congress lost in the North East was their priority.
“Look at our campaign. We only wanted to ensure that the Congress got fewer votes. Of course, we wanted to win but simultaneously, we wanted that the Congress should not come to power. We didn’t give much thought to which regional parties will win; we didn’t say one word against them during our campaign,” Alphons told News18.
Meghalaya threw up a fractured mandate on Saturday with the ruling Congress emerging as the largest party, marginally ahead of its rival, the National People's Party (NPP), an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur. NPP president Conrad Sangma is set to become the next chief minister of Meghalaya after forming a coalition with the BJP, two regional parties and an Independent on Sunday.
The announcement of the grand alliance came after a closed-door meeting between United Democratic Party (UDP) top brass and BJP leaders Kiren Rijiju, KJ Alphons and Himanta Biswa Sarma.
“It was an expected coalition. We’re very happy with the outcome,” Alphons said. The minister was made head of elections in Meghalaya five month ago and was recently made an observer to facilitate formation of the government.
Commenting on BJP chief Amit Shah’s statement of intent to defeat the Left Front in Odisha, West Bengal and Kerala, Alphons said that it was about time that people looked at the larger picture and see what the Modi government has done.
“What this government has achieved in the last three-and-a-half years has not been accomplished in the 70 years of governance before it. Policies like Jan Dhan, Swacch Bharat has been revolutionary,” he said, adding that the ruling party was only asking for a fair chance and evaluation of its work.
Alphons also said that while Kerala had great facilities when it came to healthcare, there was still so much that the state needed to be cleansed of. “This false propaganda around the PM and the party is terrible. Every day, there is some video or audio doing the rounds. Look at the political killings taking in the state,” he said, adding that people in Kerala have always swung between the Left and the Congress.
“There is a reason why governments change in five years, that’s because they fail. How long will one resist the PM’s dream of every Indian living with dignity,” he said.