By Our Reporter, TNT News | SHILLONG, Jan 04, 2018:
Ending all speculations and gossips, the eight former legislators of Meghalaya officially joined the National People’s Party (NPP) during a public rally held at Polo Ground, Shillong here on Thursday in the presence of party chief Conrad Sangma besides leaders from Manipur and Nagaland.
The new entries included — legislators from the Congress — former deputy chief minister Rowell Lyngdoh and former cabinet Ministers Prestone Tynsong, Coming One Ymbon, Sniawbhalang Dhar and Ngaitlang Dhar. The others are United Democratic Party legislator Remington Pyngrope, and Independents Hopeful Bamon and Stephanson Mukhim.
Delivering his speech, former cabinet minister Rowel Lyngdoh said “We all want change in Meghalaya and it will only be possible if we overthrow Mukul Sangma government. We joined NPP because only NPP can bring the change,” he said adding that the leaders will have to look and review certain policies especially those catering to the welfare of the tribals.
While referring to Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma as a ‘dictator’, Lyngdoh said “We need to change and bring an end to the dictatorial attitude of a chief minister who never listens to any community or anyone.”
Meanwhile, reacting to allegations from several quarters regarding their shift of allegiance, former Forest minister Prestone Tynsong said “If people say we are selfish for leaving the congress, then YES, we are as we think about the people.”
Referring to Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma as the CM of Ampati and not Meghalaya, Tynsong accused Dr Mukul of trying to break not just Meghalaya but also Garo Hills. “Why are developmental programmes and schemes concentrated in only few pockets of Garo and Jaintia hills. Is it not divisive politics of divide on his part”, questioned Tynsong.
Praising his new party, the former congress legislator said NPP stands for the people of the NE and the tribal.
Meanwhile, Dadenggre MLA and NPP leader James Sangma while addressing the gathering asserted that the NPP will fight not only for the people of Meghalaya, but for people of Northeast, the minorities and tribal communities across the country.
“I want to stress about the similarities which brings people together,” he said adding that the NPP is not just a political party but an idea which PA Sangma had conceived — that the tribals despite the diversity, shares so much similarities and if united can turn into a force to reckon with.
He also maintained that too long, the central government have ignored the state and region because its people are not united “But today that concept will change and that change is the NPP with the minorities coming together. My father would have been proud to see his idea shaping into a reality,” he said.
Commenting on the joining of 8 new entries, Sangma said prominent leaders like Prestone Tynsong Rowel Lyngdoh knows the pitfalls. “It was easy to resign from the party but they see a better prospect to shape the future of the state with the NPP,” he said.
The candidates are the future of Meghalaya, they will be representing the youth who are the fuel to development. “NPP is not about individual but team work…idealism and experience. Will we see the change in Meghalaya? If we are to have a better, brighter Meghalaya, we need to work hard if NPP is to form single largest party govt,” he added.
On a similar note, Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Joy Kumar Yumnam maintained that NPP stands for the entire NE region. “Many have tried divisive politics but failed. We are yet to find any political party that stands for North East except for the NPP which caters to the needs of the people of the region unlike other national parties like the Congress.”
Brushing aside perception that NPP is a Garo party, Yumnam said that many tried to advocate that NPP is a Garo party but the truth is — it originated in Manipur. “2018 is an important year as we are looking forward to form the govt in Meghalaya,” he said adding that Meghalaya can only progress if the Khasis, Garos and Jaintias walk together.
Meanwhile, lamenting the fact that even after 40 years of statehood, Meghalaya don’t have a youth, sports, tourism, education policy, NPP chief Conrad Sangma said “If there are no policies, how will we move ahead. we have to change all this,” adding that what Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma has done is not easy to change but “I’m confident that we are up to the challenge and will make the change required.”