Purno’s show of strength in Tura

From Our Correspondent

TURA: Former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma made the most of his new party’s regional conference in Tura’s MP stadium on Tuesday afternoon as he lashed out at the ruling Congress while calling upon people to bring about a change in the upcoming assembly elections scheduled for February-March next year.

Several thousand supporters of Purno’s National People’s Party (NPP) took part in the party’s first regional conference since its creation three months back with an aim to focus on tribal interests.

Addressing the supporters, Sangma said that the upcoming elections would be one of a kind and claimed that change was coming to the state while simultaneously appealing to the crowd to bring the NPP to power.

“Tribal power will play a major role in changing the political scenario of the country and this will be evident in the upcoming elections slated for several states,” Sangma said adding “Meghalaya will show the way,” to the applause of the crowd.

The veteran politician reiterated that he would never return to the parent party he joined at the beginning of his political career and attacked those ‘who abandoned their dreams’.

“Pranab Mukerjee, P Chidambaram, Ambika Soni, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Arjun Singh, N D Tiwari and others left the Congress only to return for power. PA Sangma shall never return to the Congress,” he asserted.

The Presidential aspirant also attacked the party for not standing up to one’s conscience and said that he was the lone voice that struck a chord when he opposed Sonia Gandhi’s position to lead the Congress and the next government in the country.

“It was a lone Garo who stood to protect the nation’s interests. When I stood up against Sonia Gandhi no one supported me, but no one opposed either,” he claimed. Taking on the Congress for opposing his candidature for Presidency, he asked “when a black can become the President of the USA, why can’t a tribal and a Christian be made President in his own country?” It is time we (tribal) govern instead of being governed,” he added.

The national working president of NPP and former MP Arvind Netam who also spoke on the occasion said next year’s state elections will have an impact on other elections in the rest of the country as tribal people await the results in Meghalaya.

NPP leaders including MLAs and MDCs who defected from the NCP to join the new party also took part in the regional conference.