| P.A.Sangma with his daughter Agatha at the news conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. Picture by Prem Singh |
Tura, March 19: Former Lok Sabha Speaker and National People’s Party (NPP) president Purno A. Sangma will formally start his campaign for the Lok Sabha polls in Garo hills tomorrow.
Sangma will address an election rally at Adokgre in the North Garo Hills, which borders Assam’s Goalpara district. This will be Sangma’s first rally for the Tura parliamentary seat, which he won for eight consecutive terms since 1977.
Sangma said, “Leaders from different political parties, even those from the Congress requested me to return to national politics to contribute to Parliament. I decided to accept it as the people of Garo hills felt the need of my representation as the situation here has become worse. I feel that my return will help Garo hills immensely. I will draw up an action plan for the next five years.”
On his failure to develop Garo hills, Sangma said, “If you draw a comparison of the situation now and that of 30 years ago, you will surely understand what has been done over the years in Garo hills.”
Sangma, who recently authored a book, Talatani, which means clarification, talked about his contribution towards Garo hills. The NPP’s main poll plank is rising insurgency in the region.
“The situation is alarming because the government has failed to deal with it. It is indeed a matter of concern. NPP will continue to intervene,” he said.
Sangma has returned to active national politics after a gap of six and half years. He decided to quit as MP in 2008 to contest the Assembly election and paved the way for his daughter, Agatha Sangma, to represent Tura.
Agatha won the 2008 bypoll and 2009 Lok Sabha election on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket. She resigned from NCP last week to join her father’s party.
The Tura Lok Sabha seat is considered a Purno stronghold. In the 2013 Assembly election, Sangma’s NPP managed to win just two seats. Congress won 29 seats in the 60-member House. In Garo hills, Congress won 13 seats out of 24. Five independent candidates, who won from Garo hills, joined the Congress.
Purno Sangma is pitted against a new entrant in politics, Daryl William Momin of the Congress. Momin is the grandson of Meghalaya’s first chief minister, Williamson Sangma. Purno Sangma and Daryl William Momin will file their nomination on March 21 at Tura.