‘NPP to support indigenous NE people’

‘NPP  to support indigenous NE people’
Conrad K Sangma (File)
Correspondent IMPHAL, MAR 30 | Publish Date: 3/30/2019 11:52:00 AM IST

NPP president and chief minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Kongkal Sangma reiterated his party’s stand on contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 on Saturday.

The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is one of the poll issues which other political parties are using to target the BJP during their election campaigns in the state where polling in the two Lok Sabha seats will be held on April 11 and 18.

Sangma who is camping in Imphal was attending election rallies of his party. 

The party is fielding its state unit president Thangminlien Kipgen as party nominee in the Outer Manipur (ST) Parliamentary Constituency and supporting BJP candidate in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency. 

In an interview with a local cable network, the NPP president reiterated his party’s opposition to the contentious CAB saying that there was no change in party’s stand on the bill.

He said that his party was always prepared to fight against CAB or any other issues against the interest of the indigenous people of Northeast region.

NPP’s primary objective was to build a common platform of the people of the Northeast to safeguard the interest of the people of the region, he said. 

He claimed that despite an ally of the NDA at the Centre and NEDA, NPP was the first political party that opposed the CAB openly when the BJP-led government at the Centre attempted to convert the Bill into an Act.

“We have been opposing the Bill from the very beginning. We will continue to oppose to any attempt to implement it as an Act. My government was the first that took a decision opposing the Bill,” he said.

Sangma added that NPP had played a leading role in preventing the Bill from passing by the Rajya Sabha.  

The NPP not only convened meeting of all regional parties to oppose the Bill in Guwahati, but also lobbied with other national parties in New Delhi to oppose the Bill. 

“It was only after building strong pressure that the Central government agreed not to table the Bill in the house of Rajya Sabha,” he said.

Not only the CAB but NPP will stand against any other bill which is against the interest of the indigenous people of the region, he added.

To a query, the NPP president said that the party decided not to field its candidate in the Inner Manipur PC only to protect the interest of being coalition partner.

NPP having four MLAs in the state is one of two major partners of the BJP-led coalition government. NPF, the other major partner is also fielding its candidate in the Outer Manipur PC where BJP is also put up its candidate.

There were no differences among the coalition partners. Ruling partners have fielded their candidates with an understanding to fight the election friendly.

However, there was no question of surrendering party’s principle to other parties, he said and asserted running a coalition government was not an easy task.

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