Shillong: National President of the National People’s Party (NPP) and incumbent Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, released the party’s election manifesto for the 2023 assembly elections at a gathering in Jowai on Friday.

The manifesto, titled ‘People’s Document – Vision 2023-28’, outlines the party’s vision for the people of Meghalaya for the next five years.

The document focuses on creating job opportunities for the youth, supporting farmers, and improving villages. It also includes a summary of the party’s key achievements, referred to as “Promises Delivered,” and details the party’s vision for making Meghalaya a better place.

Several top leaders of the National People’s Party were present at the event, including Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, Cabinet Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar, Raliang MLA Comingone Ymbon, Jowai MLA Wailadmiki Shylla, and East Shillong candidate Dr Ampareen Lyngdoh.

The “People’s Document” provides a brief overview of the party’s detailed plan for all sections of society in Meghalaya. Although only key interventions are listed in the document, the NPP has created a year-by-year roadmap to achieve its vision.

The manifesto talked about the progress made by the NPP in serving the citizens of Meghalaya over the past five years.

Employment: The manifesto emphasised the party’s goal of creating five lakh jobs and employment opportunities for the youth in Meghalaya.

“The party intends to focus on entrepreneurship, tourism, agro-processing, and knowledge/digital sectors in both urban and rural areas. The youth will be skilled through the creation of multi-sectoral skill parks, exposure trips, and livelihood sectors. The party also plans to support entrepreneurship by creating PRIME hubs across all blocks and supporting entrepreneurs through the PRIME scheme. The party aims to build upon its success as the Best Startup State in India and continue to create a better support system for entrepreneurs,” the manifesto stated.

Augment sporting facilities: The manifesto also talks of focussing on utilizing the abundant sporting potential of Meghalaya. The party, through its election manifesto, stated that it plans to provide world-class sports facilities at the grassroots level, including stadiums, training programs, talent identification, and scholarships. The existing programs in this area will be enhanced to include a larger pool of talent and increased support. The party’s vision for the sports sector is comprehensive, from grassroots infrastructure to supporting sporting talents and successfully hosting national-level sporting events such as the 2nd North-East Olympic Games.

Government service to every village: The manifesto also includes plans to create 1,000 Chief Minister’s Facilitation Centers to deliver government services to every village in Meghalaya. The party intends to engage a group of Village Community Facilitators (VCFs) to deliver these services to citizens. These facilitators will serve as the single point of contact for citizens and provide a wide range of services, including PDS, pensions, and grievance redressal. This will create thousands of jobs and ensure that even households in the most remote villages of Meghalaya have access to government services, the document states.

Farmers’ welfare: The party also plans to continue its support to farmers of Meghalaya through its flagship programs, FOCUS and FOCUS+. The programs will be expanded to cover all producer households in the state, regardless of where they live. The party’s vision includes key interventions across the entire agricultural value chain, enabling farmers to produce more, transport their products easily, and sell them at better prices.

The party intends to continue its support through specific, mission-mode projects that will benefit all farmers by 2023-2028. These interventions have already proven successful, with the number of farmers benefiting from the programs increasing from 1,000 to 13,000 over the past five years.

Connect every village with all-weather roads and RCC/steel bridges: The NPP has devised a comprehensive village-by-village plan to connect all of Meghalaya through all-weather roads. The party will continue to prioritize the construction of new roads through central schemes and will also launch a new initiative called the “Chief Minister’s Village Connectivity Scheme” to connect the remaining villages. In addition, the party plans to replace the timber bridges in the state with more durable RCC/steel bridges.

The manifesto outlines several key infrastructure development projects aimed at taking Meghalaya forward. These include improved air connectivity, internet access for all villages, an IT park, improved water management, and piped water for households. The party also plans to establish economic growth centres and logistics hubs in various districts of the state, in line with a new industrial policy regime, which is expected to attract investors and industries, thereby creating more livelihood opportunities.

Augment health sector: The party aims to continue its progress in the health sector in Meghalaya. Over the past five years, new and upgraded health infrastructure, as well as focused interventions for mothers and children and health insurance schemes, have been successful, the manifesto claimed.

The party envisions building on this success and establishing Chief Minister’s new affordable drug centres to provide affordable medicines for the people of Meghalaya. Existing schemes that have benefited the people will continue to receive more support and greater coverage. New schemes and policies will also be implemented to aim to make Meghalaya one of the top 10 states in the country, the document added.

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