NPP will lead next Manipur government, says Sangma

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, whose National People’s Party (NPP) is an ally of the BJP both in Meghalaya and Manipur, on Friday reiterated that his party would contest the Manipur Assembly polls alone, focusing the main issues of the state in particular and northeastern region in general.

Sangma, the national President of the NPP, claimed that his party, which has fielded 43 candidates, would be the single-largest party in the 60-member Manipur Assembly and would lead the government after the February 27 and March 3 polls.

With four MLAs, the NPP has been an ally of the BJP-led government in Manipur since 2017.

Addressing a series of gatherings in different parts of the state including Churachanpur, Moirang, Saikot, Thanlon, and Henglep, Sangma said that both the BJP and the Congress have failed to understand the complexities of the people of the region and different needs of the people.

“We want to change the ‘high command culture’. We witnessed the internal feud in the national political parties. The people of Manipur are looking at the NPP. The party was born in Manipur. The party understand the different issues and areas of concern of the people of the region. The party truly belongs to the northeast. That’s why people of different parts of the northeast region are accepting the NPP as a true alternative.

“The NPP would provide the people of the northeast a platform to express the voice of concern and highlight pertinent issues. The NPP knows the dynamic of the different communities, different tribes. The NPP is one of the 8 national parties in the country and lone national party from the NE region,” he said.

Many senior BJP leaders including Ningthoujam Mangi, S. Sovachandra, Lourembam Sanjoy Singh and Thangjam Arunkumar have recently joined the NPP.

NPP’s National Vice-President and Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar Singh said that his party would try to nominate those leaders rejected by the BJP for the coming election.

The BJP, NPP and the Naga People’s Front (NPF) had formed the coalition government after the 2017 assembly polls and though the alliance still exists, the saffron party, the NPP and the NPF this time announced to contest the elections separately and announced their nominees.

The NPF, which has political bases both in Manipur and the neighbouring Nagaland announced the names of the ten nominees.

Meanwhile, the statutory notifications by the Returning Officers for the second phase of elections on March 3 in 22 Assembly constituencies were issued on Friday.

The notifications for the first phase of elections on February 27 in 38 Assembly seats were issued on February 1.

Manipur Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Agrawal said that the full Election Commission, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, would visit the state on February 7 to review poll preparedness.

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