From Our Correspondent
Tura | February 27, 2018
February 2018 has a been a month full of campaigns and interactions with politicians hurling verbal jibes at each other like never before. and amidst this whirlpool, the NPP and Congress’s Sangma leaders have never failed to be a centre of attraction. And now, as the curtains come down for the election with the fate of candidates sealed in the ballot, the political parties will now count their days for the result.
The Garo hills, dubbed as the political hub of Meghalaya witnessed high voltage campaign with the two dynastic rulers son of late Purno Agitok Sangma, Conrad K. Sangma, chief of National People’s Party and Mukul M. Sangma of Congress Party, the incumbent chief minister.
Both the Sangmas steered the election single handedly in Garo hills.
While Mukul is in fray in two constituencies of Ampati, his home turf and at Songsak, Conrad, who is not in the fray made all efforts to reach out to the electorates.
It can be said that 2018 election was a clear battle of the two Sangmas. Before the final counting day, Conrad wants to spend time with his daughter in Delhi and bring her back along with him on March 2, while Mukul continues to remain in his constituency.
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Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma along with his wife Dikkanchi D. Shira and their two daughters voted at Chengkompara Lower Primary School at Ampati, while National People’s Party chief Conrad K. Sangma voted at Boldoka Lower Primary School at Selsella in West Garo Hills.
NPP candidate for prestigious South Tura constituency and Former Union Minister Agatha K. Sangma voted at Walbakgre Lower Primary School, while NPP candidate for North Tura constituency and former Rajya Sabha MP Thomas K. Sangma voted at Government Boy’s Higher Secondary School, Tura.
“We have done whatever we could do to put our vision for the state in front of the people,” said Conrad K. Sangma.
He said that the party has given their best to enlighten the people of issues and challenges and a road map for Meghalaya. “We are confident that people will vote for change and will give us the mandate. I have faith in the wisdom of our people and I am sure that they will make a conscious choice for the state of Meghalaya.”
He left for New Delhi today to meet his six-year-old daughter Amara, who studies in Delhi, while his wife Mehtab Chandee stay’s back at Tura. In December last, Conrad was blessed with his second daughter.
Mukul Sangma said that election has always been challenging and the Congress party has given its best.
“I have full faith and confidence in the people of my state and expecting a comfortable majority.”
Asked, if Congress was willing to forge an alliance with other political party in a situation, where they are not able to get an absolute majority, he said, “There are claims and counter claims but we have good friends and yes, we will make it.”
He banked on the stable government of the Congress party post 2013 election and denounced BJP’s surge in Meghalaya.
“People from Meghalaya are different. Though BJP has tried to make inroads in the state but our people are vigilant and alert and I am counting on our people.”
He remarked that BJP had made its attempt earlier in Meghalaya as well but the Congress party has effectively dealt with them and it has continued to do so this election as well.
Counting on development under the Congress rule in Meghalaya, Mukul said, “The central leadership are bankrupt on issues so they always cite lack of development in the state. They are making mockery of themselves.”
He countered Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh for not doing homework and making blatant lies during election. “They should do their homework properly. Where do you find such good roads in hilly terrains?” he asked.
The deplorable condition of road in plain belt area of West Garo Hills, South Garo Hills and other parts of the state, where some of the major political issues, which were raised by BJP and NPP during the election.
On law and order situation, Mukul passed the buck on Prime Minister and Home Minister and termed them “incompetent” by talking about issues to cheat the people by shying away from their own responsibility.
“It is the job of the central government to main the porous border. The border security forces are not equipped with the wherewithal that is the reason for cross border crimes, insurgency and smuggling of sophisticated weapons and they blame me for the law order situation of the state.”
Asked, what Rahul Gandhi expects from the election from him, Mukul said, “He has been instrumental in energizing and infusing positivity in the electorates. His expectation is that we keep the Congress flag flying in Meghalaya.”