TURA: Former National People’s Party (NPP) leader and ex-legislator of Baghmara, Satto R Marak, officially joined the BJP on Thursday and in a show of his political clout in South Garo Hills. He brought along dozens of NPP workers with him to join the ranks of the national party.
The NPP suffered a further setback in the area with former GHADC MDC, Millan R Sangma, also joining the BJP with Satto Marak along with his supporters on the same day.
“Together with us around 1200 NPP supporters from Baghmara constituency have also joined with the BJP today,” said Satto Marak.
The Conrad Sangma-led NPP has suffered a shocking blow in its Baghmara bastion where it has been maintaining a stronghold since the last three years. The party had swept the last district council elections in Baghmara region with a young party candidate Sengkal N Sangma trouncing senior Congress candidate and sitting MDC Freederson Sangma in Wagesik constituency.
This has happened to be the second defection from the NPP ranks in less than 24 hours. Another party ticket contender for Rangsakona constituency, Pilne A Sangma resigned on the same day citing personal reasons.
Party sources indicate that Sangma’s decision to resign was because the NPP was due to nominate Subir Marak to contest against Congress heavyweight, minister Zenith Sangma.
In the case of Baghmara too, the NPP is preparing to announce as their candidate the sitting GHADC MDC from Wagesik Sengnal, N Sangma, to take on sitting Independent legislator Samuel Sangma.
“I was informed by our president Conrad Sangma that the party has decided to allocate poll ticket to the sitting MDC. I had worked tirelessly for the party and nurtured my area for the last four years. I am left with no option but to leave,” stated Satto Marak while speaking to The Shillong Times on Wednesday.
He revealed that he would be joining the BJP along with his supporters and NPP workers including the party’s president and general secretary of Baghmara constituency.
“My supporters have advised me to join the BJP seeing the development works of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. I believe the BJP will do more for the development of Baghmara when it comes to power in the state after next year’s elections,” said Satto Marak.
Satto Marak was one of the most noticeable faces of the NPP founded by Late P A Sangma, in South Garo Hills district. He won Baghmara seat in a by-election in early 2008 after sitting Congress MLA Sengran Sangma had died while on the campaign trail leading to a countermand of the polls.
In the by-poll, Satto Marak as the NCP candidate, defeated Late Sengran Sangma’s son and Congress candidate Arjun in a hotly contested election in which the Congress and the NCP threw all their weight into what became a prestigious contest. The NCP, fresh from its win in the State elections was at the nascent stage of government after Late P A Sangma had cobbled up a coalition of NCP-UDP-HSPDP- Independents to form the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) and deny the Congress the seat of power despite the grand old party emerging as the single largest party in a fractured mandate.