Tura : Conrad Sangma, leader of the Opposition in the outgoing Assembly and the Wharton-educated youngest son of NPP president P.A. Sangma, has been actively campaigning for the party besides seeking re-election from Selsella in West Garo Hills district. He spoke to Umanand Jaiswal on his transformation and the road ahead
TT: What is the difference between the 2008 and 2013 elections?
CS: I was new during the last elections while this time I go into the polls much more confident and organised and with a lot of experience. It has been a huge learning experience - from MLA to Opposition leader. Have minutely observed and understood government functioning in these five years. Have also understood the people’s perspective. Am much more prepared to work more for the people.
TT: From leader of the Opposition to the next chief minister is what most within the NPP see you as. Do you also see yourself as the chief minister in waiting?
CS: At this moment we are all focused on winning the elections. It is for the MLAs to decide who will be the chief minister, that also through a democratic process. But I will not shy away from any responsibility entrusted to me to serve the people of Meghalaya.
TT: Has your party president P.A. Sangma's absence affected you in any way?
CS: Not at all. Our president is still actively campaigning for us and guiding us with critical inputs as before. But I must add here that it is not for kings to fight every war. The generals do. We now have a team of generals who are executing the plans and vision of the leader as systematically as possible.
TT: What have been your major challenges in this election?
CS: We are up against Congress's muscle and money power.