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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Coalition stable, working on delivery mechanism: Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma

Meghalaya chief minister believes the government will complete its full term.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2018 07:32 IST

Hindustan Times, Shillong
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma addresses a party meeting in Guwahati.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma addresses a party meeting in Guwahati.(PTI Photo)

National People’s Party president and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, 40, won the bypoll from South Tura by 8,421 votes. He spoke to David Laitphlang about the challenges ahead. Excerpts:

Everyone predicted the outcome will be positive. Did you expect such a sizeable margin?

…I would like to thank the people of South Tura for their support. No election is easy and I am really thankful to my party leaders and MDA (Meghalaya Democratic Alliance) partners for their sacrifice... I think this only strengthens my motivation to work with even more commitment for the state.

With 20 seats, NPP is levelled with opposition Congress. Are you comfortably placed now?

Well, stability is more of an understanding and the kind of the work that the coalition partners do. It is important to respect each other, stick to the commitment. I think we were always confident that the coalition would be stable. We are happy this election went well and it would lead to more stability of course. I believe this government will complete its full term.

Now that you have consolidated your position as the CM, what are the immediate plans?

…a lot of things need to be done. From day one, I have been focussing to ensure that there is a good delivery mechanism at the grassroots level, there is accountability, transparency and to ensure whatever money is spent, we get the maximum output.

What is your take on Assam’s National Register of Citizens and the measures to check illegal influx into the state?

Well, illegal influx and the threat of illegal immigration is something that has always been an issue when it comes to the northeast and it will be an issue even in the future. Therefore, we, as a state government, feel there must be strong mechanisms in place. What kind of mechanisms... (it) needs to be discussed. We, as a government, have been taking a lot of steps and consulting with political parties and other organisations to find a way forward.

There are issues like the ban on coal mining by National Green Tribunal, employment generation for you to address. Have you prioritised the manner in which you will handle them?

Well, all the points that you mentioned are important and all of them have their own challenges and own particular importance. Therefore, it is not easy for us to say we will do this and ignore the other ones. All of them have to be handled simultaneously but certain things take more time than others and a lot of stakeholders are involved. But what is important for us is to ensure that in everything that we do, we involve everybody and take everybody along and I think that is very important to us.

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 07:29 IST

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