Shillong, April 2: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said that people in Delhi were too far away to understand the issues and problems of the North East and urged citizens of the region to stand together for fulfilling their aspirations.
Sangma, who is president of National People’s Party (NPP), highlighted how unity among people of the Northeast helped foil passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Regional parties like NPP, United Democratic Party, the Peoples Democratic Front and the Hill State Peoples Democratic Party have come together to field a common candidate under the banner of ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) on both the 2 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Jemino Mawthoh, general secretary of the UDP, is the common candidate of the MDA for the Shillong seat while Agatha K Sangma of the NPP is their joint nominee in Tura constituency.
The people in Delhi are too far away to understand the issues and problems faced by the people of North East. Different governments at the Centre have come up with different policies, such as the Look Act Policy and Act East Policy and nothing tangible is happening on the ground, Sangma said addressing a rally for MDA candidate Mawthoh at the Polo grounds here.
The people of North East were united in opposing the Centres Citizenship Amendment bill and because of this unity, the bill could not be passed, he said and urged the people of the region to stand united to ensure their aspirations are fulfilled.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan could not be tabled in Rajya Sabha on last working day in February and will get lapsed with the end of term of this Lok Sabha on June 3.
MLAs and members of the autonomous district councils of the MDA constituents attended the rally.
In his address, Jemino recalled how G G Swell, an MP of the All Party Hill Leaders Conference (APHLC), was instrumental in creation of the Hill state of Meghalaya and the setting up of the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU).
He said Swell is an example where an MP of the regional parties is able to take forward the issues of the people, rubbishing the Congress claim that it is futile to elect a regional candidate to the Parliament.
Election to both the seats is scheduled on April 11 along with the bye-poll for Selsella assembly constituency. (PTI)