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Agatha follows in father’s footsteps, starts campaign from Adokgre

TURA: NPP’s Lok Sabha candidate Agatha Sangma followed in her father’s footsteps and launched her campaign in a remote village in North Garo Hills that PA Sangma considered as ‘the place of victory’.
Agatha addressed a gathering at Adokgre, a sleepy hamlet rich with an abundance of crop fields and surrounded by hills to its east and north, on Monday afternoon. She was accompanied by brothers Conrad Sangma and James Sangma and mother Soradini K Sangma.
Adokgre forms part of the Kharkutta region in North Garo Hills. It is easily accessible from Dhupdhara in Assam that is connected to National Highway 17. PA Sangma always made it a point to start his campaign from Adokgre.
Addressing her first election campaign since making way for Conrad to contest South Tura seat and eventually become chief minister, Agatha expressed confidence that people would once again repose faith in the NPP and her for the April 11 Lok Sabha polls.
“I am contesting after almost 10 years but I am confident of your support. I remember that special day very well when I stood before all of you seeking your precious votes,” recalled Agatha.
She took a swipe at the Congress candidate and former chief minister Mukul Sangma who, she claimed, had refused to fight the polls against her.
“When I first took the plunge into politics the then Congress candidate Mukul Sangma refused to contest the election against me saying he does not want to contest against a child,” said Agatha and added that she gained a lot of experience during her tenure as an MP.
Conrad, who was the star campaigner at Adokgre, spoke at length about the reason behind selecting the village as the first campaign venue and also the work undertaken by his government since completion of one year in office earlier this month.
“Adokgre has always been the place our great leader PA Sangma began his election campaign from, be it for the MP, MLA or MDC elections. It was always a blessing for him, which is why he called it ‘Chenanggre’ or the place of victory,” said Conrad.
“Being a former MP, Agatha has immense experience and she knows each and every minister at the Centre and also the working in the national capital. If the MP is from the ruling side a lot of developmental activities can take place,” he added.
The chief minister highlighted his government’s achievements in the past one year mentioning about the numerous schemes and funds received from the Centre for education, tribal welfare and roads.
Asserting that an MP’s role is to ensure central schemes for the state and be the voice of the people in Parliament, Conrad said, “During his tenure our late father fought for the people of Garo Hills and Meghalaya. His voice was heard in Parliament and it is now the responsibility of each and every Garo to fulfill his dream.”
Others who participated in the first election campaign of Agatha and the NPP included former chief minister DD Lapang, who said she would be the ideal candidate to raise the issues of Garo Hills in Parliament.
Billykid, Bluebell join NPP
To add colour to the campaign, leaders from three parties joined NPP.
Former MLA and senior BJP leader from Tura, Billykid A Sangma was formally welcomed into the party at Adokgre. Billykid had narrowly lost to Agatha in last year’s state elections from South Tura.
Another former MLA and NCP leader Bluebell Sangma, who earlier represented Chokpot constituency, joined the NPP along with some members of the regional UDP. Her late husband, Masonsing Sangma, was MLA of Chokpot and a close confidant of PA Sangma.

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