Will continue to serve NE people, expand NPP’s base in other states: Sangma

SHILLONG, Jun 9: A day after the Election Commission of India granted the National People’s Party (NPP) the status of a national party, its president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma asserted that his party would “never compromise on the aspirations of the people of the Northeast,” while trying to expand its base beyond the region.
Addressing the party’s first Northeast coordination committee meeting here on Saturday, Sangma said the NPP aims to take part in the country’s policymaking decisions and work for the voiceless and the marginalized sections.
“Our motto and mission to serve the people of the Northeast will always be of supreme importance as we begin a fresh chapter to expand our footprint in new regions and strengthen our organization in the states where we already have a presence,” he said.
An ally of the BJP in Meghalaya, the Sangma-led party on Friday became the first political outfit in the Northeast to have earned the tag of a national party.
It has been recognized as a state party by Election Commission in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
Talking about the citizenship amendment bill, which the BJP has promised to bring into force despite massive protests in the region, Sangma said his party would urge the Centre to hold parleys with all stakeholders and build confidence among the people before making a move.
“We will never compromise on the regional aspirations of the people of the Northeast and engage in consultations to protect and safeguard the interests of the indigenous communities,” he maintained.
The NPP has 21 MLAs in the 60-member Meghalaya house, four in the Manipur house and five MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh.
It had two MLAs in Nagaland until they merged with the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party earlier this year.
Veteran leader and former chief minister DD Lapang, who was also present at the meeting, said the party will prepare a roadmap to take its ideologies and vision to every nook and corner of the Northeast.
“It is our responsibility to carry forward the onus of representing the regional aspirations at the national level. The NPP has remained committed and it will continue to fulfill its agenda,” Lapang said.
Among others who were present at Saturday’s meet were Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Joykumar Singh and legislative party leader of Arunachal Pradesh, Mutchu Mithi. (PTI)