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NPP hopes to sweep Garo Hills plains, Khasi-Jaintia Hills

Conrad reminds voters of PA Sangma’s NE dream

TURA: Tura Lok Sabha MP Conrad K Sangma is confident that the National People’s Party (NPP) will sweep the plain belt of Garo Hills.
The NPP national president is also expecting maximum number of seats from the Khasi-Jaintia region.
Addressing a gathering at a special party conference at the district auditorium on Monday, Sangma announced before a packed audience that NPP would have its own chief minister in 2018.
“We are expecting maximum number of seats from the Khasi-Jaintia region and we are optimistic that the NPP wave will be similar in Garo Hills. Our party has already announced that the chief minister will come from the region which elects the highest number of legislators,” said Sangma.
Referring to the advantage that NPP enjoys in constituencies like Selsella, Rajabala, Phulbari, Tikrikilla and Mahendraganj for the party’s strong candidates, Sangma said, “Going by the dramatic changes taking place on the ground in Garo Hills, I can confidently say we are going to sweep the entire plains belt here.”
Mahendraganj is represented by Dikkanchi D Shira, wife of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.
Four NPP ministers from Manipur also attended the conference.
After felicitating them, Sangma said Manipur was an important chapter for them because the seed of the party’s growth was sown there and in Nagaland, Assam and Meghalaya by PA Sangma. Its first results were visible in the Manipur elections this year when four party candidates emerged victorious and were made ministers.
The MP recalled the hard work of his father who nurtured Manipur and helped NPP register a stunning win in four constituencies paving the way for the party’s first deputy chief minister position in the current BJP government.
He told the gathering that the dream of the late leader was to see the rise of the North East and for that it needed a party that could exert pressure on New Delhi to get its share of development.
“In Delhi, only numbers count. Unless you have the required number of MPs, Delhi will seldom listen to your grievances. That is why NPP was formed to fulfil the aspirations of the people of the north east and we are on the right track to be heard,” said the Tura MP.
NPP’s Deputy Chief Minister in Manipur and former DGP Y Joykumar Singh said it was important for every human being to have dignity and self- respect.
“People in Meghalaya should support and strengthen a party that ensures dignity and self respect. I see only the NPP that stands for the cause of the people of the region,” said Singh who is also the finance minister of Manipur.
Two other Manipur ministers of the NPP, Health Minister L Jayanta Kumar Singh and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip also addressed the NPP supporters during the conference in Tura.
While Jayanta called the people of the North East to unite under NPP to take up developmental issues with the Centre, Haokip said “only a people-oriented party like NPP can lead the way for the region to progress”.
Interestingly, the bitter rivalry between NPP and its ally in Manipur BJP over the upcoming elections in Meghalaya was palpable.
The National youth President of the NPP, Ratika Yumnam, did not fail to mention the burning issue of attempts at curtailing food habits of the people- an indirect dig at the BJP’s now discarded ‘beef ban’ that had raised a hue and cry among minorities.
“Certain political parties have been trying to decide on what we should eat or choose to eat. It is our cultural right to decide what we wish to consume and no political party has any right to decide on our food habits,” said Yumnam.
Manirul’s brother named
NPP has selected late Manirul Islam Sarkar’s younger brother to contest from Phulbari. On a day of the NPP conference in Tura, Sangma announced to the gathering that Shyamnagar MDC in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) SG Esmatur Momin, also known as Rahibul, will be the party candidate for Phulbari constituency in next year’s state elections.
He is the younger brother of Sarkar who died of cardiac arrest last week. Sarkar was the NPP candidate and a frontrunner in Phulbari before his untimely demise.
The party candidates for some of the seats in the Garo Hills were introduced to the public and a huge applause came from the crowds for Songsak MLA Nihim D Shira as his name was announced. Shira will fight against Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.

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