Shillong: Meghalaya Congress chief Vincent H Pala said that Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is a tall leader of North East and there is nothing wrong with party MLAs meeting him.
“I have also personally met him several times,” Pala, who is also Shillong MP, told journalists.
“…whenever I have any problem especially on developmental issues or issues like appointment of a director in NEIGRIHMS or Vice-chancellor in NEHU, where we have common interest between Assam and Meghalaya, we do approach him but it doesn’t mean that when you meet him you are joining his party (BJP),” he said.
He was reacting to allegations that some of the Congress MLAs have been frequently meeting Himanta.
Pala said it might be they had gone there in order to get more schemes to serve the people adding “I think that is one thing we should not misunderstand”.
The MP further informed that he had also taken up the long pending boundary issue with the Assam CM.
“I told him (Himanta) you should see that the status quo is maintained there, it is not you who get the land or we get the land but most important is the safety of the people living in the border should be taken care of,” he said.
Asked, the Congress leader said that there is no denying the fact that Himanta is a tall leader of the North-East now.
“After many of our Congress leaders have joined him in Assam, he has become a tall leader and the chairman of NEDA,” he stated.
“We should not forget that Himanta was a tall leader when Congress was in power in Assam. The Congress had depended on him totally so he created a legacy,” he said.
According to the former Union Minister, along with him a bunch of Youth Congress and Mahila Congress members shifted allegiance from Congress to BJP in Assam.
“This made Himanta stronger and powerful. But I think there is a limit to everything,” he said.
“I think he has taken maximum but it is time now people will regroup and the fresh blood are coming, young guys are coming who will be equally competent and equally smart like Himanta…with the new president coming in Assam (Bhupen Borah) he is a smart guy I think this trend of switching over BJP from Congress will stop,” he stated.
Referring to the last Assembly election in Assam, Pala said, “We gave them (BJP) a tough fight. Only problem was the alliance (with AIUDF). Himanta had a tough time as this time the BJP did not get absolute majority as they needed their allies to retain power,” he added.