By Pradeep Kumar
NAHARLAGUN, Jan 12: The National People’s Party (NPP) has succeeded in translating the vision and dream of former Lok Sabha speaker, late Purno A Sangma, into a reality as tangibly visible today, said party’s national president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma here on Saturday.
“He (late Sangma) had formed NPP in 2012 with a vision to project North Eastern region (NER) with right perspective as the region, a nature trove replete with unique age-old cultural heritage, was neglected by Delhi political top echelons and mandarins at the cost of its development,” the CM told this daily in an exclusive interview just before boarding the chopper for Shillong.
Responding to a question — if late Sangma had inked a history in India’s political map, particularly in NER, you being his son what are your plans for NPP to make inroads across the country, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh?
Sangma, flanked by Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh and APNPPLP leader Tanga Byaling, said that “the party driven by late Sangma’s ideologies made the difference during last two years for my late father’s ideas to see the light of the day. The NPP is presently ruling in Meghalaya and part of Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh Govts, but contest all 60 assembly seats and all 24 Lok Sabha seats in NE during 2091 general elections”.
Reiterating his stand he said: “Any central minister or Govt of India would not pay attention, if few of total 24 MPs of NER approach, but pay heed to joint approach by all even in Parliament to redress the grievances and solve genuine problems of the region. This also justifies the adage ‘united we stand and divided we fall’ and need for unity among NER leaders,” he said without mincing any word.
When asked what difference the NPP has made in Manipur, DyCM Singh, who was reading this daily’s news of Friday press conference by Sangma, raising his head smilingly said: Though NPP has won four assembly seats, but it would be double digit next time because of committed works for the benefit of the masses. Moreover, Manipuris feel proud of their ethnicity with which the NPP has been catching up fast, he reasoned.
Asked to identify reasons behind mushrooming of insurgent organizations in his state, Singh, the former director general of police, quipped: Everyone wants to be a leader and who fail go wayward and take wrong path to fulfill their goals.
Citing examples of insurgent groups getting split and having hideouts within the state in the past, he said that gone are those and peace prevails in the state and any group, if alive, might be hiding in Myanmar today. Sangma interrupted to quip: “Singh served as DGP for six years and contained the insurgency menace to facilitate peace to prevail and development take deep roots.
Sangma was here on a two-day trip to address state unit executive body meeting attended by delegates from all NE states including MLAs and ministers to draw strategies for 2019 general elections. Host of state leaders led by NPP president Gicho Kabak, VP Anok Wangsa and spokesman Sange Nima Saling, while seeing him off urged to plan his next visit soon to strength in party.