Former Lok Sabha Speaker calls for regional unity
Sangma points out flip-flop stand of Cong on boundary
Source: The Sangai Express / S Guite

Lamka, April 07 2009: Even as the State unit of the NCP has categorically stated in its election manifesto that it would protect the territorial integrity of Manipur and fight for repealing the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State, general secretary of the party, former Lok Sabah Speaker Purno A Sangma who arrived here today pointed out the flip-flop stand of the Congress on the issue of territory.

Addressing a campaign rally of the at the YPA Hall, New Lamka, Sangma issued a call to shed egoism and work for regional unity.

PA Sangma being honoured while NCP candidate LB Sona looks on

'One MP cannot do much on his own at Parliament, we have to break that ego' the mindset that segregates the North-East people, he said in his opening remarks.

'For more-than sixty years the congress party and its high command has neglected us, we (non-congress parties) have to come and fight together to reject the high command culture,' he said in reference to the congress party and the north-eastern states.

But, the leaders have now started to understand their weakness and saw the need for a strong plate-form for the people of the region, he adds.

'I am so happy to see the political leaders of the region with no more egos, sitting here together'.

Speaking to reporters during his brief visit here to campaign for LB Sona, Sangma said that though Rahul Gandhi had announced in Manipur that her territory would not be compromised, another AICC leader Siddharth had endorsed the stand of the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee that all Naga inhabited areas should come under one administrative unit.

Claiming that the Congress does not have a clear stand on the emotive issue of the territorial integrity of Manipur, PA Sangma who was accompanied by his son Conrad Sangma during the brief visit, that the Congress is confusing the people and trying to fool them by issuing contradictory statements just to garner some votes.

This is not acceptable, he maintained.

Fielding questions from the media, the senior Sangma said that he has always been pressurising the Centre to increase the number of Lok Sabha seats in the North East and added that the North East Peoples' Front (NEPF) composed of 13 different political parties will pursue this matter.

Since the number of Lok Sabha seats is worked out according to the population, the NEPF will work towards increasing the number of Rajya Sabha seats from the North East region, he added.

Earlier addressing a public meeting at the hall of the Young Paite Association, Sangma came down heavily on the ego problems of political leaders from the North East.

On his dream of having a strong platform to at New Delhi, the man who had been elected as MP for nine consecutive terms said the North East Peoples Forum � a joint forum of the regional parties from the north-east including north-Bengal has file 30 candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha poll and of these at least 15 will be elected.

Asserting that all suffer from ego problems and inter-tribal rivalry, Sangma said that all need to understand the inherent weaknesses and do away with the false ego.

The father-son duo also spoke of the political drama that is unfolding in Meghalaya.

'As of now we are 27-27, and the Governor is inviting the Congress party to form the Government, that too after we won the trust vote on the floor of the House.

So, we are now waiting to defeat the Congress party once they form the Govt.' Sangma Sr said.

He also urged the youth to take to politics and play a more pro-active role, so as to keep a watch on politicians on the issues they are supposed to focus.

The formation of the NEPF is to enable the people of the North East to fight for their cause unitedly, he said adding that there should be no room for divisions along narrow tribe affiliations.

Leaders of the MDA also addressed the crowd.