CM terms Ampareen, Rapsang joining NPP as historic day, says party to form single majority Govt in 2023

SHILLONG, DEC 19: National People’s Party (NPP) national president and Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday expressed confidence that his party will get a single majority in the upcoming 2023 elections.

He was addressing a meeting to formally welcome two former Congress legislators – Ampareen Lyngdoh (East Shillong) and Mohendro Rapsang (West Shillong) – and former UDP leader and Narpuh MDC Emlangki Lamare to the NPP family.

Terming the occasion as a historic day for the party, Sangma said it gives him immense pleasure and happiness that senior leaders are joining the NPP. “I used to watch Ampareen speak, I used to watch all our leaders and I used to say these are the kinds of leaders that we need for our state…,” he said.

The chief minister said the joining of these leaders is because people are seeing hope and that maybe it is possible that there will be a political party that will again get a single majority in the Assembly after 50 years of statehood.

“It is possible and it is because of this possibility, it has brought each and every one of us together out here,” he added.

Sangma said that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government under the leadership of the NPP has been able to resolve issues that were never possible before.

He said it was this NPP-led government that took up the border issue. It was not an easy task as any political leader would tell you that the last thing they want to touch is the border issue.

“But we put it in our manifesto that we will work towards resolving the border issue and I am happy to tell you and you all know that we have moved in a positive way for the first time in that direction. Not easy, not perfect, it will never be but it is the best possible way forward and it must be done,” Sangma said while adding “50 years have gone, we cannot continue to not have borders in our state. 50 years have gone by and we cannot allow the people at the border areas to suffer.”

He further assured that issues pending for the last 50 years can be resolved if “we work together as a team”.

The NPP chief also urged the people of Shillong that it is high time to once again bring back the glorious days of Shillong. “Let us make Shillong as one of the best cities in this country, and it can only happen if we unite and combine together then I know it will happen.”

Stating that the MDA government had faced numerous challenges during the past five years, Sangma said, “There have been countless challenges some of them the world have never seen before and yet we kept going as there was a sense of purpose in our minds.”

“When these challenges came in front there was only one thing that guided us and that is the people of our state. We resolve every time that anything and everything we do will be for the people of our state. The interest of the people of the state is paramount to us and nothing else comes even close to that. And that purpose is what drove us to ensure that sometimes tough decisions were taken. Sometimes we also decided that we need to listen to the will of the people, we decided to talk to the people, communicate with them but always keeping the interest of the people in mind,” he added.

Highlighting the achievements of his government, Sangma said in the last five years, the amount of kilometres of roads that have been constructed was far beyond the roads constructed in the last 20 years.

“We have been able to give more water supply schemes to different parts of the state when compared to the last 50 years of our statehood. We have also been able to save the lives of mothers and children…,” he said.

He continued: “In the last two and a half years, the GDP of the state has crossed 8%, the highest ever and higher than most of the states in the country. In the last 10 years of course our average GDP has been low but that is because in the last first five years we had negative growth but in the first five years that is 2011 to 2016 but after that in the consequence years we touch 8.5% growth in our GDP and that is the kind of work that we are doing. And in the government spending, we have gone up from Rs 9000 crore today’s spending is close to Rs 18,000 crore in our annual budget almost doubling the actual expenditure that is done in the budget. And that is why we are seeing the kind of changes that we are seeing. I am not saying we have done everything, there is a lot to be done but this is where we all come together.”

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said the two former legislators will take the lead in the entire Shillong city for capturing all the seats and ensure the NPP come out with flying colours.

“The only party which got absolute majority in the history of Meghalaya happened in the year 1972 where the APHLC that time got 32 out of 60 seats. We have completed 50 years and I think we will again create a record that we should get the majority in the name of NPP. Let us go back and break a record whatever, however, hook or by crook,” he said.

In her speech, Ampareen Lyngdoh expressed confidence that she would serve the people better by joining the NPP. She also assured to stand by the deputy chief minister and said, “We look up to you. The people of 16 East Shillong will not make fun of you. We are aware of your capability.”

She said that NPP is lucky to have a billionaire like Sniawbhalang Dhar.

“The state needs leaders who will not steal their money…Some people make issues out of rich candidates but I tell you…I’d rather work closely with a candidate who will not disappear with people’s funds and rights,” she said.

Rapsang said he is confident to come back as MLA in 2023 as the people are supporting him.

“The NPP wave will be there and this time we will also get all the Shillong city seats,” he said. He also hailed the leadership of the chief minister and said, “I am sure he will take the state to the top ten in the country.”