Cabinet minister James PK Sangma today rejected the claim of the opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) that it is the voice of the people.
“Without having fought a single election and by hijacking some of the MLAs and plotting to bring them into their fold, I don’t think this gives them the right to say that they represent the voice of the people,” Sangma told reporters.
The TMC has 12 MLAs in the Assembly and several MDCs in the three autonomous district councils but gained all of them through defections since last year.
Sangma said that the people have their own voice and will make it heard at the upcoming state elections. “It is the election that gives the mandate to the people,” he added.
On the various accusations made by the TMC against the state government, including against the ruling National People’s Party’s election expenditure from 2018 (which the TMC claims has not been filed with the Election Commission), Sangma simply said that the opposition should do their homework.
“It would be better for people of that stature and level of leadership to do their homework and not just give unprofessional statements,” he said, adding that the NPP has followed every rule of the Election Commission.
On the debate challenge that has been repeatedly made by TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale, Sangma said that the cabinet are busy running Meghalaya and cannot waste time in public debates.
“The Chief Minister and Deputy CM have been very accessible to the media and taking questions from all of you,” he told reporters. “The media is the fourth estate in a democracy and has been asking questions to the government on behalf of the people and this should suffice.”
Meanwhile, on the declaration of NPP candidates for the state polls, which must be held by March 2023, Sangma said that the party will declare its candidates when the EC intimates the date for the election.
Although a few of the party’s candidates have been declared, the majority will be made known closer to the polls. Sangma also declined to comment on whether his brother and CM, Conrad K Sangma, will run from two seats.
Conrad is the sitting MLA for South Tura but it has been rumoured that he will run from a backup seat as well as he is under immense pressure from the BJP.