Northeast comes first, says Conrad on NPP being accorded ‘National Party’ status

Northeast comes first, says Conrad on NPP being accorded ‘National Party’ status

SHILLONG | June 08, 2019:

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma today said that the NPP has been very clear with the BJP leadership that proper discussion and proper consultation should be there before moving forward on any issues which affect the people of the North Eastern region.

Pointing out that the issue like the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is something that concerns the people of the region, Sangma said that the party has urged the leadership of the BJP that it should take the stakeholders into confidence on this matter.

"Proper discussion and proper consultation must take place in any given situation. The interest of the people of the NE must be protected. We will continue to work and fight at the same time on any issues which concern the people of the region," Sangma, who is also the national president of the NPP, said when asked about the challenges of the NPP on its relations with the BJP especially in the context with the CAB.

Meanwhile, he said that the party's priority will always be to fulfill the regional aspirations of the people of the region while at the same time giving due importance to the national interest.

"India is a very diverse nation. When we say regional aspirations, that does not mean we are going against the national interest. Therefore, national interest will always be there and we will always take it in the positive sense. But it is also important that those regional aspirations don't get lost in the entire national aspect," NPP national president said.

On the recognition of the NPP as the national party, he said that the party will provide the platform for the people of the Northeast. "We will be the voice for the people of the NE. One voice one Northeast has been our slogan. That has been strengthened by the recognition of the NPP as a national party. At this moment, we do remember our great leader, late PA Sangma who was main person behind the emergence of the NPP. We pay tribute to our late founding leader on this very important day," he said.

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Replying to a question whether it is the Congress or BJP that will be NPP's main political opponent, he said that it is for the people to decide. "We can say who is going to be our main opponent. We have always felt that there was an absence of a platform that would speak for the Northeast. Here we have a party that is born and made by the people and for the people of the region. We will simply go ahead with our ideology. It is not appropriate for us to say so and so is our opposition," Sangma said.

When asked if there is a need for all the NE leaders to come together and fight against 'militancy' and 'political-criminal nexus', he said that this is an issue which concerns all of us. "Even before the results came out, I had the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and former Union Home Minster, Rajnath Singh to raise this issue. We all agreed that strict action should be taken and NIA level inquiry should be instituted to investigate on this nexus.

"I also had discussion with Arunachal Chief Minister, Pema Khandu on this matter. The Cabinet of the Arunachal Pradesh Government had decided to ask the Centre  to have an NIA inquiry into this. The political leadership across party lines are agreeing that this is something which is of a big concern. We all agreed that everyone should come together to ensure that this kind of thing does not happen in the future," Meghalaya Chief Minister said.

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When asked about the space of NPP in national politics especially in the context that it has only one MP, Sangma said that the fact is that the NPP has been recognized as the national party and it is an important message adding that this gives a clear signal that NPP is a platform that would speak for the NE.

"With today's politics and dynamics, the Northeast is playing a very important role. Even the Centre has been focusing a lot on the NE. In the context of being the only national party from the region, the NPP will play an important role of ensuring the voice of the people of the region is heard at the national level. It will also give the party a different level of national importance and weight. I am sure it will benefit the people of the Northeast," he added.

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