Purno Sangma throws himself into poll fray
New Delhi/TURA/SHILLONG: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Punro Agitok Sangma will be the NPP candidate for Tura parliamentary seat while mystery still remains for Daryl and Zenith for the ruling Congress.
Announcing this at New Delhi on Monday, his daughter and former Union Minister of State Agatha Sangma, who is sitting MP from Tura, said she would not contest the upcoming election to pave way for her father.
NPP is expected to formally join National Democratic Alliance soon.
She said that she has taken this decision keeping in view the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
“It has become imperative for PA Sangma to return to active politics and contribute in nation building,” she said.
Meanwhile, sitting MP has quit the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to join her father and the NPP.
“Keeping in mind the law and order situation in Garo Hills and in the interest of the tribals of the North East it was decided to once again seek the leadership of P A Sangma at this point of time,” informed the National Peoples’ Party leaders from Shillong.
The party said the deteriorating law and order scenario in Garo Hills is a sign of leadership failure of the ruling Congress government.
“A resolution was passed by the respective district units of the NPP in Garo Hills and the state executive committee in February which unanimously decided to seek P A Sangma’s candidature to represent the people of Garo Hills and the tribals of the north east in Delhi,” informed the NPP officials.
The district units of NPP had been supportive of his daughter, Agatha lauding her for the good work done during her tenure as the Tura MP.
With the endorsement of his candidature to contest the Tura Lok Sabha seat, it will be after six and a half long years that Purno Sangma will be seeking the peoples’ mandate from Garo Hills to return to Parliament.
Sangma, a former chief minister of Meghalaya, was elected to Lok Sabha eight times since his first entry to the Lower House in 1977. He was Lok Sabha Speaker between 1996 and 1998.
He had last contested the Tura Lok Sabha seat in a by-election in 2006 which was necessitated after he resigned from the All India Trinamool Congress to protest the police firing in Tura and Williamnagar which led to the death of nine people. He won the by-poll as an NCP candidate defeating the then deputy chief minister Mukul Sangma by over a lakh votes.
He returned to state politics in 2008 contesting the Tura assembly seat and winning it albeit a wafer thin margin against Independent Billykid A Sangma.
His daughter Agatha, who contested the by-election for the Tura Lok Sabha seat, defeated Mukul Sangma’s brother Zenith with close to a lakh votes but in the 2009 general elections barely managed to retain the seat defeating Congress’s Deborah Marak by less than twenty thousand votes.
Meanwhile, the AICC General Secretary in charge of Meghalaya L Falerio made it clear that Zentih’s name was inadvertently mentioned for Tura seat. But there is no confirmation or clarification from AICC till date.