SHILLONG, FEB 3: Chief Minister and National People’s Party (NPP) chief Conrad K Sangma on Friday heavily criticized TMC leader and leader of opposition Dr Mukul Sangma for using force and brutality against the people of the State during his time in power and labelled him a ‘weak leader’.
“The opposition parties who point fingers at us and say that NPP is weak, for them maybe during their time they have used guns, they have used police, they have used brutal force against the people, if that is what they call as being strong, then I disagree. It is easy to use force, it is easy to use the police and ask them to fire on innocent people, it is not easy to engage and speak to people and talk to them and have a dialogue, carry people along and move forward,” Conrad said at an election meeting in Jowai on Friday wherein he also released the youth and farmer centric election manifesto of the party titled ‘People’s Document – Vision 2023-2028’.
“In fact, I dare to say, if there was somebody who was weak it was Dr Mukul Sangma. It was during his time that in every situation whatever happens, he sought to use force, brutal force, to bring down any kind of opposition; that is not a sign of leadership,” he asserted in front of the massive crowd to witness the leaders of the party.
He further said a leader should care for his people. “As a leader you love your people, you don’t harm them by using force. In the last 5 years, whenever there was a situation where we had to face difficult challenges, you must have noticed, we never used police brutally or force but we chose the path of peace and dialogue, to find solution to different problems,” he mentioned.
The election meeting at Jowai was organised to drum up support for NPP’s sitting legislator from Jowai, Wailadmiki Shylla, who is seeking to retain the seat from the biggest urban hub of the Jaintia Hills. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister and Pynursla MLA Prestone Tynsong, Cabinet Minister and Nartiang MLA Sniawbhalang Dhar, Raliang MLA Comingone Ymbon, NPP’s East Shillong candidate Dr. Ampareen Lyngdoh among other top leaders of the party.
Further, taking on his critics who have called him weak, Conrad said, “Let me explain to those critics, there is a different between being weak and being soft. We have asked, we listen to our people, we would like to do things by ensuring that there is dialogue. That does not mean that we are weak. It’s just that we have heart for our people. But our softness should not be taken as a weakness or that we do not have a will. We may be soft and listen to the people, but we have the political will to ensure that we take tough decisions when required. We listen to the people but we do what we feel is correct and in the best interest of the people and the State.”
The Chief Minister also reminded the people that TMC is a party that comes from West Bengal. He also recalled TMC chief Mamata Banerjee’s statement where she had declared that West Bengal has its own party and did not need other national parties to tell them on how to rule the State. By the same principle, he said TMC is also an outside party in Meghalaya and the people of the State know how to take care of themselves.
“If Mamata Banerjee has said that about BJP and other national parties in West Bengal, then the same principle and the same analogy applies in Meghalaya for them, because if BJP and other national parties are, according to Madam Mamata Banerjee are outside parties in West Bengal, well then their TMC is an outside party in Meghalaya. We have our own political parties; we know how to take care of ourselves. We have respect for Mamata Banerjee because she respected our leader late PA Sangma, but elections are different. We know how to take care of ourselves,” he told the gathering, who responded to this with load cheers.
He also mentioned that people in TMC are the same people who were given 8 years to rule Meghalaya, yet they were not able to take things forward. “The people who are in this (TMC) party are people you have already worked with, you have seen what they have done and what they could not do. Today they come in new uniform, giving you assurances that they will look into the different issues; people have already tried and tested them,” he remarked.
The NPP chief further predicted that TMC will not get more than 2-3 seats in the upcoming assembly elections in the State, and that too with great difficulty. “I am confident that TMC will not be able to get more than 2-3 three seats in our state, with great difficulty… No matter how much they say in their election speeches, when the results come out on 2nd of March, they will only get 2 seats, you watch that day. That is what is going to happen to TMC and that is their fate,” he said with absolute certainty.
He also told the people of Jowai that NPP will return with absolve majority and urged them not to waste their vote on TMC, which has no future in the State. “People of Jowai should not waste their votes and should not caste their vote unnecessarily for a party (TMC) that will not be able to do anything for them in the future. You have to decide, the people of Jowai have to decide what they want to do,” he said.