Chief Minister and NPP national president Conrad Sangma today admitted that the Trinamool Congress is the main rival of NPP in Garo Hills.
Kicking off the NPP campaign for the February 27 Assembly polls from Chenangre (Adokgre) under Kharkutta constituency in North Garo Hills, Sangma however said that Trinamool Congress would not make much impact in Khasi and Jaiñtia Hills region.
“The Trinamool Congress is our main rival in the Garo Hills but we don’t see much of its presence in the Khasi and Jaiñtia Hills. I don’t think it can give a strong fight. Looking at the whole scenario, I think the Trinamool Congress is stronger than other opposition parties but whether it can give a fight depends on constituency to constituency,” Sangma said.
He also said that many Trinamool Congress leaders would desert the party once the Assembly elections are over.
Stating that he has great respect for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for once supporting his father late Purno A. Sangma, the NPP chief said that out of this respect, he wanted to caution her against her own leaders in Meghalaya since they are already planning to leave the party after the elections.
“Madam Mamata Banerjee, many leaders have joined you, many leaders from different political parties have joined the Trinamool Congress. But let me tell you and this is not Conrad Sangma saying it, this is the word in the market and you can ask anybody. You have lots of people in different networks and they will tell you that most of these leaders who have joined the Trinamool Congress today have already planned to leave the TMC after the elections. They are already in contact with different political parties. They are already talking to many people,” Sangma said.
Various speakers at the rally also urged the people of Garo Hills to remember the legacy of late Purno A. Sangma and vote for the NPP.
“People of Garo hills should remember the late P A Sangma and vote for the NPP. We have all joined the NPP to take his footprints forward. He is watching from heaven and Garo Hills and Meghalaya is synonymous with his name,” said Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, the national vice-president of NPP.
“Mamata Banerjee said the NPP will not win any seat in the Garo Hills. Let people talk about anything but the spirit of PA Sangma will move high,” Tynsong added.
Deputy Speaker Timothy D. Shira, Cabinet Minister James Sangma and also newly inducted NPP members Ampareen Lyngdoh, Mohendro Rapsang, Kimfa Marbaniang were among those present at the rally.
Chenangre holds great significance to the NPP both as symbolic and emotional as Purno A. Sangma always launched his election campaigns from the village.
The rally today was special in many ways as the programme relived the life of Purno A. Sangma through playback of his audio-video clips, where he talked about A’chik pride and A’chik identity.
The programme also played one of Purno’s favourite songs ‘Oh Ang Aman Asong’ which is like an anthem to the people of Garo Hills. The crowd of over 20,000 people joined to sing the anthem.