Conrad’s mantra: People, principles and participation to be guiding force

TURA:  It is said that with great power comes great responsibility.
Conrad K. Sangma too has greatness thrust upon his young shoulders. No stranger to politics, this will be his first experience of the Delhi durbar politics.
One of his first meetings on arrival at Delhi post his mammoth victory from Tura will be to call on leaders of all political parties including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On the eve of his departure for Delhi, The Shillong Times caught up with the young MP at the residence of his late father, P.A. Sangma, where he spoke at length on various challenges facing Garo Hills and how he intends to take up the issues.

ST:  It has been a big mandate for you in this election. What is your agenda for Garo Hills?
Conrad: I am grateful and humbled by the peoples’ faith in our party and my candidature. My father had taken up many projects for the development of Garo Hills. I intend to continue and ensure their completion.
I will work in similar lines of my late father who laid great emphasis on improving the economy of farmers. He had set up many developmental boards for the farming sector which is still there for everyone to see. He had wanted to focus on value addition and processing so that entrepreneurship grows in Garo Hills.
Expansion of roads through central funding like the Tura to Dalu and Nangalbibra to Gasuapara highways need to be completed. I shall work to ensure their completion.
To see a plane land in Garo Hills was one of my father’s biggest dreams which became a reality during his lifetime with the first touchdown at Baljek airport in Jengjal. I will ensure that the Baljek project moves forward.
I want to bring Delhi closer to Garo Hills.
ST: The number of young voters in Garo Hills is very high and you are seen as a young face of politics. Any particular policy for the youth?
Conrad: Being a young MP, issues of the youth will always be close to me. The youth of Garo Hills is very dynamic. I want to ignite that spark of entrepreneurship in them. Our job is to ignite and facilitate so that they can take it forward.

ST: Your departure from state politics to Delhi is being seen by some as a void for the opposition in Meghalaya?
Conrad: My voice will not be silenced. It has only been raised a pitch higher. I shall continue to give my voice for the people of Garo Hills, for Meghalaya, people of North East, Christians and other tribals and the minorities.

ST: How do you intend to ensure smooth implementation of central projects given that Meghalaya is a Congress ruled state whose chief minister had even stalled your nomination to the GHADC?
Conrad: If one looks back at my victory speech I had said the elections are over. Whatever was said had been said then.
Now we need to work together and I have repeatedly said that we should not look at the political angle.
I urge upon the State government and the chief minister not to allow politics to come in between the development of the State.

ST: This was an election in which even the minority dominated plains belt of Garo Hills, which has traditionally voted in support of the Congress, turned their backs on the oldest political party and gave their mandate to you. What clicked for you and what are your plans for the development of their region?
Conrad: I have received tremendous support from our non tribal brothers in the plain belt. They are a very hardworking community. Unity and peace in the region is one of the foremost requirements to raise the economy of the people and ensure stability.
It is important to note that tribals and non tribals both want to live in peaceful co-existence. My father always taught us never to segregate people based on caste, creed or religion. I shall carry forward everyone together.


Know your MP
Date Of Birth: 27th January 1978
Education: Graduate from Wharton School of Business and MBA from Imperial College, University of London.
Spouse: Mehtab Chandee Sangma, a doctor by profession
Children: Amara (5 years)
Favourite food: Wak Gominda
favourite place in Garo Hills: Loves entire Garo Hills but finds Dura Banda village very close to his heart
Favourite Bollywood stars: Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone
Favourite Sports: Cricket
Best holiday destination in India: Tawang
Music: Rock and Bollywood
Instrument played: Guitar
Favourite pastime: Spend time with family, and if possible go for a long walk

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