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NCP to align with regional parties
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAR 22:
Published on 23 Mar. 2009 12:58 AM IST
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Three days after the imposition of President’s Rule in Meghalaya, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, Purno A Sangma is now working overtime to forge a “strong strategic alliance” with regional parties to fight Congress in the Northeastern region. Sangma, who returned from New Delhi Sunday afternoon, drove straight to Brahmaputra Hotel in Guwahati to adopt a unified poll strategy with the regional parties. The former Lok Sabha Speaker had already sought the cooperation of the regional parties - the Asom Gana Parishad, Manipur People’s Party, Nagaland Peoples’ Front, Mizoram National Front, Sikkim Democratic Front, Asom United Democratic Front as well as the BJP and Left parties . “I had made it clear to Pawarji that the NCP will have nothing to do with Congress in the Northeast,” Sangma said. The former Lok Sabha, who is untouchable to any major political groups, is expected to use all his political tricks to line up the Left and other Non-Congress parties, including the minority Muslim party AUDF which are averse to the BJP, on one-to-one basis. “If we have to defeat the Congress, all non-Congress parties will have to fight unitedly,” said P Sailo of the MNF, which faced a humiliating defeat to the Congress in the state Assembly polls. Eight Northeastern states sent altogether 25 MPs in the Lok Sabha, 14 of which come from Assam alone. The remaining 11 seats are allotted to other seven tiny states with Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura with two Parliamentary seats each and Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim with one seat each. The NCP is contesting only in four Parliamentary seats – Karbi Anglong-NC hills, Dibrugarh, Guwahati (all in Assam) and Tura in Meghalaya – it has decided to support non-Congress candidates in all the northeastern states, including in North Bengal. Meanwhile, top Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) leaders have announced a series of agitations, besides filing a writ petition in the Supreme Court tomorrow, seeking vacation of, what they termed, ‘unconstitutional promulgation of the President’s Rule’ in the state. The MPA leaders warned the Congress-led UPA that if the Central rule in Meghalaya was not withdrawn by Tuesday, they would go for an all-out campaign, including fast unto death to force the President to revoke her proclamation. The MPA government was dismissed and the assembly put under suspended animation a day after it won a controversial trust motion with Speaker casting vote on March 17.

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