TURA, March 20 � Former Lok Sabha Speaker and NPP president Purno A Sangma today flayed the Congress-led government in the Centre as well as the State. Addressing his first election rally in Adokgre, bordering Assam, the veteran leader said that the Congress was in ICU and was aware that it would not survive the next elections.
Sangma addressed the gathering from a wheel chair as he had a fall about ten days back. He, however, came out all guns blazing to flay the Congress Government.
He said it was now time for the people to be rid of the Congress and added that to that purpose the non-Congress parties were united in their fight. He said, �The BJP was about to put up a candidate for the Shillong Lok Sabha seat, but I requested them not to and to support the candidature of Paul Lyngdoh of the UDP�.
Sangma said that the current problems facing the State forced him to come out of retirement and he along with Neiphu Rio and Paul Lyngdoh would do their best to ensure the North East was easily identifiable. He spoke in detail about the roadmap to bring about peace in the Garo Hills region. Sangma said, �I am in favour of dialogue with the militant groups as I have seen through experience that things can be sorted out through talks�.
On the issue of the release of Champion Sangma, he said, �We will have to look at their demands and then review what needs to be done�. He, however, said that in his election manifesto, the question of Garoland was there and that there was a serious need to review the demand for a new State�.
Lambasting Mukul Sangma for a recent expose that showed the cancellation of projects meant for the welfare of the people of the region and the diversion of the money to a few extravagant projects, Purno said, �He has taken Rs 356 crs meant for development in the State and approved three projects, one each in Tura, Ampati and Shillong. When you become the CM, you become the CM of the whole State, not of a particular place�.
Sangma said that the North East was a very important part of India. He, however, lamented the fact that the people of the NE were the sufferers in the wars with China and Pakistan, without much acknowledgment. Sangma said, �Who was affected during the wars with China and Pakistan. It is the people of the NE. There have been so much of Chinese incursions into Arunachal and we have been the sufferers�.