Ex-pressure group leader Sounder Strong Cajee formally joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) at a function in Mawkyrwat today where he was also declared as the party’s constituency candidate for the next state elections.
Cajee had unsuccessfully contested on a National People’s Party ticket from South Shillong constituency in 2018 but quit the NPP recently.
He was welcomed into the party by TMC state president Charles Pyngrope and TMC legislature party leader Dr Mukul Sangma.
According to the party’s media cell, more than 8,000 supporters joined the TMC along with Cajee today at a public meeting.
In emotional and evocative language, Cajee said that he “will extend his helping hand to the people. Even if [my] hands fall short, the mothers and youth will strengthen [me].”
With a majority of Meghalaya’s population depending on agriculture, Cajee attacked the government for not doing enough to protect them from businessmen, referring to the poor price of squash that farmers have received.
He also praised the previous administration of Dr Sangma, the former Chief Minister, under whom South West Khasi Hills was created as a separate district in 2012.
Dr Sangma, besides giving the gathering a rendition of the Christian hymn ‘How Great Thou Art’, castigated the state government for what he dubbed as failures in the employment sector, self-enrichment by today’s ministers, non-appointment of teachers and closure of schools, ignoring the plight of ASHA and Anganwadi workers, lack of social schemes for people with disabilities and also the state of the border negotiations with Assam.
On the latter, he said, “The government wants to solve the dispute by giving our land to Assam which is inherited by us. The government is formed to serve the people yet the people have to fight against their own government to survive.”