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National People’s Party to fight Meghalaya polls alone, not with BJP, says Conrad Sangma

The NPP chief also clarified that his party will continue to support the NDA and may form a post-poll alliance if need be in Meghalaya. The party had taken the help of BJP in 2018.

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New Delhi: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma announced Saturday that his National People’s Party (NPP) will contest solo in next year’s state polls.

At the same time, the NPP chief said, his party would continue to support the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and might take its help to form the government after the elections if the situation arose.

“We have been very clear from day one that in Meghalaya, it is not just the BJP, but we will not be going into a coalition with any of the political parties. This is including the ones with whom we are in coalition right now. So, there is no political understanding or no pre-poll alliance with any of the political parties,” Sangma told the media after the NPP national committee meeting in the national capital.

The NPP had adopted a similar strategy in 2018. While the Congress had won the maximum 21 seats, the NPP had 19 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had two. The NPP went on to form the government with the help from the BJP.

“…I’ve always maintained that contesting an election is about the identity of the political party. When the elections are over and the political situation requires one to form a coalition government, in that case the political part of the elections come up,” Sangma  told the media at a press briefing.

“And that’s when we decide — as we have decided in the past — that whenever the situation arose, we supported the NDA or we worked with the NDA to form the government. But contesting an election has always been about the ideology and the identity of the party which will always remain unchanged.”

Sangma said that his party would also contest the upcoming polls in Tripura and Nagaland, adding that his party will continue to expand in different parts of the country in the coming years.

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‘Opposition fractured In Meghalaya’

Responding to a question from ThePrint, Sangma said that the opposition in Meghalaya is fractured and the entry of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has made it worse.

“The way I see it, there was a political space in the opposition and that space is going away from the primary opposition which was the Congress. The TMC has come in and captured that space,” Sangma said.

“While they (the TMC)  tried to do that, they’ve led to the opposition being fractured even more. Though they managed to capture some space, they’re creating another space within it themselves.”

This, he said, was creating fractures in the TMC, thereby further fracturing the opposition space. “Though they (the TMC) have come in and a lot of noise is being made, it’s not very simple to just come in and get a grip on the situation in just a matter of days. It’s not as simple as putting up lots of banners and posters and flags,” Sangma added.

To a query on the NPP’s main opposition, Sangma said that it would vary from region to region. “The regional politics need to be seen. In some areas, it’s a fight with the TMC while in certain regions it’s a fight with the Congress,” he added.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

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