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Shillong, Oct 12: National People’s Party (NPP) national president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday said the party is expecting more and more like minded people to join its fold.

Addressing a meeting organized to welcome former Congress vice president John Kharshiing and his supporters to the party, Sangma said, “This is just the beginning. I am very positive that given the political situation that is there, especially in the opposition party, more and more people who really want a positive change for the state will see that it is inevitable and it will be most productive if they come and join the NPP and working together with us to achieve their goals and objectives and contribute to the development of the state.”Urging like minded leaders from different political parties especially the opposition to work together with the NPP, the Chief Minister said that the present state government has dared to take steps which a lot of governments did not.

“This government has taken bold steps and decisions which others got scared or did not have the guts to do in that point in time. And we are not saying that these are easy decisions or easy steps or easy stands, these are very tough but we are very clear in our mind what we want to achieve and how we want to move forward. Therefore, all these aspects require the support of the people, we need the support of leaders to come and work with us so that we are able to take all the steps that we have started to the logical conclusion,” he said.

NPP committed preserve, promote age old traditions

Terming the joining of Kharshiing as a perfect match, Sangma said as per Article 2 para 6 of the NPP’s constitution, “the party is committed to uphold, preserve and promote age old traditions, customs and rich cultural heritage of different ethnic communities of the union of India.”

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He added that Kharshiing has been one of the torch bearers or flag bearers of this particular issue and the kind of knowledge, the kind of information he has and the kind of work he has done to protect the customs and the rights and the age old traditions of the ethnic tribes of our state and connected with other people from other states who are fighting similar causes goes hand in hand with what NPP believes in. “Therefore, this is a perfect match,” he said.

National outlook, regional aspirations

The NPP chief also informed that next week, the party will be having a conference on ‘national outlook, regional aspirations’ – in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

“Can we have a national outlook and yet have regional aspirations and focus and work on issues that matter to the North East and the people of the NE while ensuring that we maintain our national outlook. What I am trying to tell you is that the NPP has been very clear in the objective that it has. We are a party, as I said, is here to protect the traditions and rights and the customs of our people. We are here to protect and fight for the people of our region,” he said.

Welfare of farmers

Also stating that the NPP is serious about the farmers in the state, Sangma said that the government has changed the name of the department from simply agriculture to farmers’ welfare.

“So in this history of our state, for the first time somewhere earlier this year in March, 2020 we started the biggest farmers social welfare called FOCUS and this will be covering 4,50,000 farmers and producers and groups which will be about 30,000 -40,000 but the producers and the farmers will be approximately four and a half lakh families,” he said.

Kharshiing’s decision to join NPP

Earlier in his speech, Kharshiing said that after resigning as the Congress vice president, he has not associated himself with any political parties during the past two years.

However, after analyzing the performance of the NPP-led government, he decided to join the party, he said.

He further lauded the initiatives of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government by passing a resolution for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) and the ongoing boundary talks with Assam.

According to him, the COVID-19 situation was also well managed due to the efforts made by the government. He also added that the government has done a lot in terms of the MGNREGA implementation in the state.

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