In his first response to the reasons for denying sitting Phulbari MLA S G Esmatur Mominin the NPP ticket, replacing him with former MLA A T Mondol, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that it was the region failed to witness development despite multiple schemes and projects released to the constituency through their elected representative.
“We found that despite so many projects sanctioned, implementation on the ground was dismal. As the leader of the constituency, the buck stops with him. People were left abandoned and deprived of development in both the hill areas and the plains of the constituency and for us, in the NPP the care for the public is paramount which is why we had to take this decisive step,” said the chief minister.
Quoting his late father and veteran political leader P A Sangma, Conrad said, “Serve the people, not the money”.
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He said that many had castigated his decision to drop the party’s sitting MLA and critics had attacked him on social media and Facebook orchestrating a negative campaign against him, something he refused to respond to.
“The reason we chose A T Mondol to be our party candidate was simple and it was a quote from my late father P A Sangma, ‘Never chase power, money or the chair. Work dedicatedly for the people and they will reward you.
Conrad Sangma said that in the last five years, his government had released many programmes and schemes for Phulbari but it did not get translated into implementation.
“A political leader can never differentiate among people, cannot allow greed to overtake people’s welfare,” he said and showered praise on the candidature of A T Mondol as someone who has a political history of working for all communities and areas.
Conrad in plain belt to dent Mukul’s campaign
Mukul Sangma’s decision to contest from Tikrikilla in the plain belt region, besides Songsak, has drawn NPP chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma to land on the doorsteps of the TMC leader.
With Mukul Sangma holding rallies in the plain belt to consolidate his position, Conrad K Sangma has also decided to return the favour in kind by vigorously campaigning in the very same region indicating that the political situation was changing in favour of the NPP.
The main opposition party in the state has been weakened by splits which is why people are looking for a strong and vibrant party and turning to the NPP,” believes Conrad Sangma.
He does not rule out a repeat of the success story of 1972 when the then APHLC party under the leadership of Late Captain Williamson A Sangma went on to win a clear-cut majority to form the government.
“What the APHLC managed in 1972, the NPP could do in 2023,” he said.
Giving reasons as to why that target is not impossible to achieve, the chief minister claimed that the performance of his government and the introduction of multiple schemes aimed at farmers, youth and women was making other parties and governments to do a ground check.
“Focus and Focus Plus are transforming peoples’ lives. Each household will benefit from both these programmes. A sum of Rs 5000 in the group and another Rs 5000 in the personal account for each beneficiary has been a reality and seeing our success other parties are parroting promises of financial support,” said Conrad Sangma targeting the TMC and Mukul Sangma.
“Mukul Sangma is now talking about the TMC’s Women Empowerment or WE card promising financial aid only now when elections have arrived? He was chief minister heading a government for 8 years. Why did he not come up with such assistance to the public? What stopped him? One of his own MLAs who defected has even questioned as to why promise now when he didn’t while 8 years in power,” asked Conrad Sangma.
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