Common candidate issue: We may or may not contest says NPP chief

Shillong , Feb 15: National People’s Party (NPP) national president and Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma said the party will take a call on the issue related to selecting a common candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the state especially after the national general body meeting of the party decided that the party should field candidates in all 25 Lok Sabha seats in the North East.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday, Sangma said, “We will see when the time comes we will take a call. Absolutely we are discussing with everybody  as nothing is final which means all options are open so ultimately we may contest or we may not contest and it will all depend on the situation that develop in the next few weeks.”

He was referring to the proposal for setting up of the MDA common candidates for the Tura and Shillong parliamentary seats. The NPP in its general body meeting held recently had decided to fight from all the 25 seats in the North East region including Meghalaya.

Sangma said the states have their respective state election committees which recommend to us where we should contest and who should contest but ultimately it is the central election committee that will take the final decision.

Asked, the NPP chief said the party has always fought elections on its own and have never had pre-poll alliance with any political parties whether it is in Manipur, Nagaland or Meghalaya.

“For me, I will look at how to work for the people of the North East and try to build up the party in the region,” he added.

To another query, Sangma said it is important that we have a platform in the North East that really takes up the issues of the region and we stick to that even now and that ideology is what has pushed us to ensure that we fight against this Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Refusing to comment on stand of the BJP in Assam, the NPP chief however said, “That is their stand but our stand is that the CAB should never come back again. It has lapsed and it should be left there.”

He said the NPP would consider supporting the CAB if its present format is changed.

“If it is a Bill which a consensus has created and NE people’s sentiments have taken into consideration may be then we might be able to think of it but not in its current form. If it is acceptable by all political parties, student bodies and NE people then may be,” Sangma added.

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