Shillong, Dec 8: National People’s Party (NPP) national general secretary in-charge finance, James K Sangma, on Friday said his party is far ahead of other political parties in as far as preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are concerned.
Speaking to media persons, James K Sangma said in Garo Hills, the party’s sitting Tura MP, Agatha K Sangma, has already started campaigning. “Of course, the fever pitch is yet to pick up but on the ground lots of campaigning and lots of meetings have already started.”
“At present, the NPP is far ahead not just in terms of the campaign and in term of outreach but also in term of the fact that our MP has performed very well in the Parliament that she has been extensively touring and taking up issues not just pertaining to Garo Hills but also pertaining to the state of Meghalaya,” he said.
James K Sangma also informed that the Tura MP had recently led a delegation comprising of leaders from Garo Hills and met the Union Home Minister requesting his intervention to rectify the issue, where Garo language was not finding inclusion in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
He further expressed confidence that Agatha will retain the Tura seat. “In terms of her performance, she is doing extremely well so I don’t really see any kind of cause for concern.”
On BJP state president expressing dissatisfaction at the performance of Agatha alleging that she has failed to ensure central schemes reach the people of the region, the NPP leader however said, “I don’t know which BJP leaders said this but I think unfortunately he is very ill-informed. In terms of the implementation of the centrally sponsored schemes, so many are taking place in Garo Hills. It is very easy to criticize people but I believe that any such criticism should be based on facts. Unfortunately, he has not done his homework, he has not done proper research before making such statements because I believe there has not been any kind of stall or slowdown in implementation of centrally sponsored schemes.”
In regards to the issue of inner line permit (ILP), James said that the issue has really not come up in a big way in Garo Hills region.
“(However), we all know that the ILP issue, this was passed as resolution in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and this issue is right now pending with the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs so we have to have a little patience and wait for due process to be completed,” he said.
Further, the former minister also termed the allegation that developments are only going to Garo Hills region as “absurd” and said, “Anything has to be substantiated by facts and I can tell you with a lot of confidence that it is not true at all. If you look at the amount of development that has taken place all across the state (it is taking place in an) equitable manner. And I think the pace of development has picked up, there is no doubt about that.”
“Today we see a sleuth of developmental activities taking place in Garo Hills. So, when you have this contrast in the past where Garo Hills has been neglected and then suddenly you have development taking place at a very fast pace in Garo Hills, but people can misconstrue that as something of sort of a bias or imbalance but that is not true. I believe that today development is taking place in a very equitable manner,” he added further.
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