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NCP launches newsletter
- Countdown to Assembly elections prompts overdrive

Shillong, May 30: With barely nine months left for elections to constitute the ninth Legislative Assembly, the Opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) today released a monthly newsletter to disseminate information on various issues.

The party mouthpiece in Khasi language, Ka Thup Jingshai, was released here today by state NCP president W.R. Kharlukhi, in presence of Opposition leader Conrad K. Sangma and other party leaders.

Through the mouthpiece, which would also be available in Garo language, the party will highlight various issues concerning the state. Among other things, in the first issue, NCP said it had pinned its hopes on winning from Ranikor constituency in the 2013 polls.

The editorial stated the mouthpiece was a small step towards enlightening people about party leaders, workers and issues taken up by the party.

Briefing reporters after releasing the newsletter, Conrad said the multi-coloured publication would be available at Rs 10 for all those who like to have a glimpse into the functioning of the NCP.

The leader of the Opposition also lambasted chief minister Mukul Sangma for allegedly impeding the release of 40 per cent of his funds under the Special Rural Works Programme (2011-12), a component under the MLA scheme.

“Although the chief minister had released the remaining 40 per cent of funds to 57 MLAs, three legislators are yet to receive their funds as the documents were yet to be signed by him. I consider this as cheap politics,” Conrad said.

According to him, the refusal of Mukul Sangma to sign the documents which would facilitate release of funds was an attack on the people of Selsella, which is Conrad’s constituency.

“He (the chief minister) is trying to play too much politics. This is not an attack on Conrad Sangma but an attack on the people of Selsella,” he said, adding that 60 per cent of the funds were released last year.

Sangma chance: Defying the stand of their party chief, NCP legislators hailing from the Northeast and a few states outside the Northeast have pledged their support to former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma in his bid to become the next occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The decision to support Sangma was taken at a meeting of the NCP's Northeast Coordination Committee held on Monday at Guwahati.

Conrad today said the legislators had taken the collective decision to extend support to Sangma though party chief Sharad Pawar had taken a different stand. Pawar had maintained that the NCP would abide by the UPA’s collective decision on the presidential nominee even when Sangma had made several overtures by meeting certain political leaders cutting across party lines.

The UPA is yet to announce its candidate for the elections, which would pave the way for a new occupant at the sprawling presidential palace. But Sangma had made it clear that notwithstanding the party’s stand, he would forge ahead to contest in the elections.

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