Purno Sangma NDA candidate from Tura LS seat

NEW DELHI, March 11 – The clock has come a full circle, with former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma returning to active politics. He is going to contest from Tura Lok Sabha seat as NDA’s nominee.

Sangma’s National Peoples’ Party (NPP) has formally joined the NDA and sought nine seats from BJP. However, negotiations are still on and currently only Tura seat has been allotted to NPP. The nine seats sought by NPP are spread over the States of Rajasthan, MP, Odisha, Chattisgarh, besides Meghalaya.

Sangma’s re-entry into politics was formally announced by his daughter and former Union Minister of State Agatha Sangma, who also declared that she has formally quit NCP and joined NPP. “I will not be contesting the election and have decided to step down and would concentrate on party organisation work,” she said.

On January 22, last year, NPP had given a letter to LK Advani to join the NDA and three days back in a meeting with BJP president Rajnath Singh, the final clearance came and NPP has become a coalition partner of NDA.

The NPP has not sought the Shillong seat but Agatha Sangma said they would be supporting a consensus candidate.

Explaining that Sangma’s return to politics was prompted by deteriorating law and order situation in Meghalaya in general and Garo Hills in particular.

“My view is that because of the law and order situation has deteriorated so badly and there is so much of gap in Central help and so much of violence has taken place in North East. In the leadership, we do not have a face in the North East that can assert itself and can defend itself. I think that is why we need people like PA Sangma to come back to active politics. In a way he is the face of North East,” she asserted.

Asked about her assessment of the UPA’s role towards development of North East, Agatha Sangma said that North East still lacked development, while the flagship Look East Policy is still on paper. The State still need to be developed and law and order situation still poor,” Sangma, who was Minister of State for Rural Development, said.

Meanwhile, spokesman of NPP, James Sangma alleged that Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma has close links with ANVC (B). The Chief Minister has direct links with ANVC (B),” he alleged.

The spokesman further accused the Chief Minister of using the militant outfit, who is in negotiation with Centre, to target his own Ministerial colleagues.

Replying to questions, Agatha said that they had brought the matter to the notice of the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and President. But no action has been taken by the Centre so far, she said, releasing a letter written by the outfit to the Chief Minister.