Shillong: At a time when several pressure groups from the state have called for a three-day bandh across the Garo Hills region opposing the participation of non-tribal in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) elections, Meghalaya Chief Minister and star campaigner for the National People’s Party Conrad Sangma expressed his disagreement and termed the bandh “illegal”.
Speaking with EastMojo Sangma said, “The bandh is completely illegal, especially when there is a democratic process going on. They cannot interfere. At an individual level, if they do not want to vote, it is their personal issue but this will definitely not be tolerated.”
“In fact, we held a meeting with church elders and the NGOs to pass on the message to them that this should not be done and the election will go on. We will be providing full security and I urge the citizens of the state to come out and vote,” added the CM.
He also said that the practice has been going on since 1952 and bringing a change is not going to happen overnight.
“This is something that will require consultation, take everybody on board and then take a decision. So making this an issue just during elections will not resolve the problem. It is a complicated issue and there is no doubt but the solution should be found with everybody’s consultation,” Sangma added.
The Meghalaya CM also held a massive election rally at Ampati to seek a mandate for NPP candidates. The rally was held as a show of strength for the party in the area which is otherwise known as a strong Congress turf.
Taking a dig at Congress, NPP chief Conrad Sangma said that the Congress party has administered GHADC for about 20 years but failed to initiate any reform and development. However, during its 3 years tenure, the NPP has made an attempt to initiate financial management and better administration.