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North East Democratic Forum formed

PA Sangma flanked by Neiphiu Rio and Pawan Chamling at the regional political parties meeting in New Delhi, Sunday. (NP)
Spl. Correspondent New Delhi, Feb 20
Published on 21 Feb. 2011 12:20 AM IST
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: With the objective of forming a common platform of the like minded political parties of the North East Region, seven non-Congress and non-BJP political parties of the region met on February 20 at New Delhi agreed to form the North East Democratic Forum(NEDF).
The goal of the proposed NEDF was to collectively project the issues and aspirations of the north east region in New Delhi. Former Lok Sabha speaker and North East in-charge of the NCP, Purno Agitok Sangma MLA, who convened the meeting said ““We have agreed to formally launch the NEDF in Guwahati, Assam sometimes in March,” Sangma told journalists.
According to Sangma the formation of the NEDF was necessary for non-Congress national and regional political parties to come together to collectively pursue the overall interest of the region and work closely with the government of India to strengthen centre-state relations in a collective manner towards the process of nation building.
The meeting was attended by Nagaland Chief Minister Nephiu Rio of the Naga People’s Forum, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling of Sikkim Democratic Forum, former Assam Chief Minister and Asom Gana Parishad Party leader, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, former Mizoram Chief Minister and Mizo National Front leader, Pu Zoramthanga, Manipur People’s Party President, N.C Luwang and Toko Sheatel, the president of Trinamool Congress, Assam state unit.
Echoing Sangma, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said, the front will have a clear objective of bringing all the round progress and development of the entire region while keeping clear its clear objective of protecting the identity and cultures of the people of the region.
Much is being read about the formation of the NEDF as it appeared to be a re-run of the now defunct non-Congress Political Forum in north east,which had been initiated by Sangma in 2003 to campaign against the Congress in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.The Regional Forum also campaigned against the UPA in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Distancing himself from the NCP, Sangma had also campaigned for the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim during the 2009 elections. In both elections, the regional forum failed to make any dent and soon became dysfunctional. Sangma’s daughter Agatha Sangma of the NCP is a minister of state(rural development)in the UPA ministry.
The birth of NEDF is significant in the wake of the general elections in Assam sometime in April.

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