| P.A. Sangma |
New Delhi, Jan. 5: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma today announced that his National People’s Party had unanimously decided to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance next year.
“The NPP is going to be part of NDA,” he said today, basing his decision on the need to work with a “like-minded” party.
The NPP was registered with the Election Commission in 1989 and won some seats in Manipur in 2007. It was officially re-launched in the national capital today.
It also protested against the December 16 Delhi gang rape, demanding death penalty or life imprisonment with chemical castration for all rapists through fast track courts. It was also in favour of FDI and favoured “people-friendly economic reforms”.
Sangma added that his daughter and NCP MP Agatha would be an NPP candidate in the next elections. When the Lok Sabha is dissolved next year, Agatha will be an NPP candidate for the general elections, Sangma added.
He said the NPP is a party for young leaders, a ground for training young leadership.
Sangma, who was elected as president of NPP in September last year in Manipur where the party is registered, cited the Meghalaya example.
The average age of the 33 contestants of NPP in Meghalaya’s Assembly elections, likely to be held next month, will be nearly 45 years. Only three candidates are aged above 60 years, he said.
The NPP claimed it represents the aspirations of the 100 million tribals, of whom 80 per cent are in regions other than the Northeast.
Sangma quit NCP last year before contesting against Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential election. The Meghalaya leader conceded that after he quit the party there was a need for a new party for the indigenous people.
“There was a need for a party for tribals. However, this will not be a party only for tribals but a tribal-centric party,” said Sangma.
With yellow and green as signature colours, NPP is a state-recognised party from Manipur with a book as a registered symbol.
Asked if there were prominent names attached to the party, Sangma said he did not need any big names but young leaders. Youth, women, minorities and the urban middle-class are the NPP’s target segments.
Meghalaya alliance: Sangma will ally with former Meghalaya chief minister Donkupar Roy’s United Democratic Party to contest the Meghalaya polls.
Sangma said the Congress and the NCP were the only national parties in Meghalaya. However, his party will not go with them.