Amid controversies over date adjustment vis-à-vis Good Governance Day and reduction in GST cap on broomstick, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday sarcastically criticised the National People’s Party (NPP) President Conrad Sangma for ‘taking all the credits’ for the changes made.
“He (Conrad) has not taken the wind out of our sails, on the contrary like any political party he is trying to create some wind for his sails. May be he is worried about the amount of wind in our sails. The wind is in our sails,” national spokesperson Nalin Kohli told media persons.
Good Governance Day controversy
The NPP had earlier courted controversy after taking credit for persuading the BJP led government in the centre to change the date of observing Good Governance Day as it fell on Christmas.
Conrad’s claims didn’t go well with the BJP as it maintained that the issue too was raised by BJP Meghalaya unit on several occasions.
“Conrad was not the only one to raise it. Shibun also raised it and others too. To say that he (Conrad) only spoke would be incorrect. Changes have been made after the first year itself and now instead of Good Governance day we have Good Governance Week,” Kohli clarified.
Justifying the decision made by the Government, the BJP National Spokesperson said “Good Friday coincidently fell on the same day which was not planned and so the govt has said we need to be careful so date adjustments are being done.”
GST reduction on broomsticks controversy
Reacting on the NPP chief’s claim of being instrumental in compelling the government to reduce GST on broomstick, Kohli said “The NPP claim is incorrect because BJP MPs and MLAs had also brought up the issue.”
Pulling the NPP up for being part of voting for the GST, Kohli raised a question “Whom did the NPP MP vote for in the Parliament? He voted for the GST and it was unanimous? You can’t have double standards when elections come.”
Meghalaya is not the only state where broomsticks are produced, Kohli said adding “We are not taking credit for what needs to be done in the interest of the people. As many as 115 ministers of the Modi govt have visited the NE in the last 2 and a half years and the PM has come several times.”
“When a revolutionary change (GST) is introduced there is bound to be some teething trouble,” said the BJP spokesperson.
On NPP-BJP relationship
Nalin Kohli clarified that the NDA at the centre and the NEDA in the Northeast are forums which are development-oriented and which supports the policies of PM Modi. However, that is not the case with election process.
“As far as elections are concerned, it is left to the state units to look at contesting elections on their own strength. NPP and BJP contested independently in Manipur. There was a requirement, so we are in govt together,” Kohli said.
“We are going to be contesting independently in Meghalaya,” Kohli said adding that the party will be contesting in all the seats in the state. It may be mentioned that the NPP has also made it clear that they are not looking at any pre-poll alliance with the saffron party but rather fight the poll battle on its own and in case of a hung Assembly, they would likely adopt the same approach as in Manipur.
“Our adversary is the Congress and so also of the other parties. Everyone is fighting against the Congress,” Kohli reaffirms the party’s motive which is ‘Congress-Mukt region’.