Mukul Sangma gears up to play Tura giantkiller

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By BIDHAYAK DAS AND S. ALVA B. SANGMA
  • Published 26.03.04
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Tura, March 26: Mukul Sangma is probably playing the biggest game in his life — to take on the might of Purno A. Sangma in his own den.The doctor-turned-politician candidate of the Congress for the Tura parliamentary constituency will play the “need-a-change” card against his seasoned rival, who has literally ruled the Garo Hills for the last 27 years.The Congress camp in Garo Hills is also upbeat over the nomination of Mukul Sangma, who holds a key portfolio in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government. The party’s Garo Hills unit executive committee met here today to discuss the nitty-gritty of its poll strategy.

Mukul Sangma has also made an elaborate plan with development and employment opportunities as his main poll planks. Though it won’t be an easy task for him to challenge the former Lok Sabha Speaker and the sitting MP from Tura, political analysts consider him to be a “strong contender”. “I have a new recipe which is all about changing our lives and bringing back a smile on every face,” Mukul Sangma said today.

He also took a dig at the former Lok Sabha Speaker, saying “issues like a person’s foreign origin is irrelevant to the people and we must focus on the more realistic problems”.

Several other Congress leaders met here today to chalk out the party’s strategy for the coming Lok Sabha elections. Meghalaya will vote on April 20 to elect its two representatives to the Rajya Sabha.

A large number of party workers attended the executive meeting of the All Garo Hills Congress Committee at the Congress Bhavan here. Chairman of the planning wing of the state Congress Salseng C. Marak chaired the meeting. Ministers including Mukul Sangma, Deborah Marak, Sengman R. Marak, Cyprian R. Sangma, Tonsing Marak, Francis Pondit, Zenith M. Sangma, Billykid A. Sangma, Brening Sangma, Elstone D. Marak, Beckstar K. Sangma and members of district councils participated in the meeting.

The six Meghalaya Nationalist Congress Party MLAs, led by Cyprian R. Sangma, have decided to support Mukul Sangma. The breakaway NCP legislators joined the Congress-led coalition government last year. Minister for mining and geology Deborah C. Marak said the Congress was sure to pull off a victory in the parliamentary election from Tura.