Adokgre: NPP chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday stated that the attempts to solve the border issue with Assam would affect them positively.
The statement came during a press conference on the sidelines of the election rally of the NPP to kick off their campaign to attempt holding on to the reins of the state one more time. The CM appeared confident of not only being the largest party in the state but also gaining a majority, something that has not happened since the first elections to the state of Meghalaya, when APHLC garnered an absolute majority over getting statehood.
“The border resolution that we have taken up will affect the party’s prospects in a positive way as previous governments have never tried to resolve it as they understood its political implications. We however thought differently. We felt we would not be able to serve the people if we thought about political risks. We went ahead knowing the challenges and took the first step forward. It’s a process and we have started it,” stated Conrad.
He asserted that they have worked with the people, held hundreds of meetings at the grass root level to work out a solution. “There is never a perfect solution but we are trying to work towards a solution, It just shows that we are the only party that is committed to the border resolution issue,” felt Conrad.
On the question of whether the upcoming poll was one between the NPP’s programs like FOCUS and FOCUSPlus and the AITC’s ‘We Card’ and ‘MYE Card’, Conrad replied the major difference lay in the fact that the AITC’s plans were promises while their program had already hit the ground.
“We didn’t start FOCUS just as a poll plank. It was started 2 years ago. The opposition seems to have been hit by this and felt they needed to respond to it. That is possibly why they came up with their programs. The question should be asked of them if this is the case,” asserted Conrad.
On whether the TMC would pose a real challenge as he mentioned the AITC in most parts of his speech, Conrad said that he didn’t believe that in Garo Hills, the AITC would provide much of a fight though in the constituency where the rally was held, the main opposition was the AITC.
“The main opposition in the 4 NGH constituencies in the NPP and as such they were mentioned. We will change our speeches according to the situation and the constituency. They have a few places in Khasi – Jaintia Hills where they have some hold but I don’t think it’s going to make much of a difference,” felt the CM.
On the question of whether the BJP were still with them, the NPP leader stated that they have been a part of the MDA government since the time of their father, PA Sangma.
“We are even now supporting the NDA government in many states and even in the Centre but when it comes to elections, I have been very clear that we will always maintain our identity and fight the elections on their own terms. If we have a pre poll alliance, we are already diluting the process so hence let the people decide. If people don’t give a full mandate, we will work out how to work with others,” the NPP national president asserted.
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He added that political situations were different and so were the equations with others. Whether a post poll discussion was required would be crossed when the situation came to such.
On the question of corruption issues raised by even the NPP’s coalition partners, Conrad stated that he had always been open for discussion on such issues.
“We have been very free and open to inquiry even of a judicial nature. I think we must have the maximum number of judicial inquiries during our tenure because we want people to know that we are transparent and allow for everyone to know it is the case,” asserted Conrad.
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