Son upbeat about PA Sangma’s prospects

SHILLONG, June 25 – Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, who is contesting the forthcoming Presidential election, is getting increasing support as the ‘D’ day nears, Leader of Opposition in Meghalaya, Conrad K Sangma, said on Saturday. Conrad K Sangma is one of the sons of PA Sangma.

Conrad, an influential leader of the NCP, told reporters at an official meeting of the NCP, where MLAs and leaders were present, that PA Sangma’s vote is increasing and now it is at 30-32 per cent of the total votes.

“We see an improvement. It is a proud moment for all of us from Meghalaya,” Conrad said.

Of the total vote count in the forthcoming Presidential elections, he said, “Five per cent belongs to Scheduled Tribes, 15 per cent to SCs and 40 per cent to the OBCs.”

The NCP leader also claimed that even at this hour, dissident groups within the Congress are pledging their support to PA Sangma. “A few Congress legislators will be voting for Sangma,” Conrad said, adding to quote them, “Why not support a tribal person who is our very own?”

Stating that his father is an Independent candidate in the coming election, backed by the AIADMK and the BJD and supported by the BJP, Conrad said, “You will see the situation change in the coming days.”

Expressing happiness that the former founder of the NCP had resigned, Conrad said, “Mr Sangma had taken a bold step nevertheless, though it was a great loss for the NCP.”

“The party has lost the tallest leader and a mentor of the party in the NE region even as he resigned at his individual level for the cause of all tribals in the country, all NE States and their people and all Christians,” he said.

Commenting on the reported statement made by Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma, Conrad said, “It is sad that the Chief Minister came up with a statement against PA Sangma. It shows a kind of disrespect and insensitivity towards the cause of the tribal people, the plight of the NE region and of all Christians,” adding that the statement from the Chief Minister was immature.

Mukul Sangma had reportedly questioned PA Sangma on the development front in the State and in his hometown in Garo Hills despite being at the helm of power for a very long time.

Conrad urged the people while pleading for their support, “We should all rise above politics and we should rise for the cause of the people. The statements made by the Chief Minister have hurt the sentiments of the people in Garo Hills and Meghalaya and the sentiments of the NE people.”

“This is the closest that in many years a person from Meghalaya, a tribal, stands to be elected as the President of the country. I don’t see this in many years to come, I am hoping to see a positive response, I hope the opportunity will be taken by all leaders of the NE,” Conrad added.

The NCP leader confirmed that the State unit of the NCP would maintain the status quo as of now, adding that in politics, “anything can happen.”