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Purno ready to serve in any responsibility

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, May 27 � Former Lok Sabha Speaker, Purno Sangma who did not figure in the NDA Government�s Ministry formation on Monday, he is willing to take up any position allotted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to serve the country.

There was anticipation that Sangma would get a �respectable� position in the NDA Government. However, with the list of ministers out in Monday�s swearing in ceremony there has been some dismay with the senior leader being left out. Sangma who met Modi immediately after the victory of the NDA in Gandhinagar, Gujarat said he is hopeful of serving the country whichever way he is given responsibility.

�It's the prerogative of the Prime Minister to allot cabinet berth and we are sure he has taken all his decisions keeping in mind the interest of the people and the country. As for us we have been given a responsibility by the people, which we will try and fullfill to the best of our ability in whatever capacity,� Sangma said when asked.

Sangma is the president of the National People�s Party and has extended support to the rainbow collation of the NDA before the election. The NPP managed to win just one seat after Sangma retained the Tura parliamentary seat by a narrow margin defeating his younger Congress rival, Daryl Ch Momin.

Immediately after his victory there was speculation that Sangma would get a respectable position in the NDA going by his seniority and popularity in the northeast. Sources said that Sangma�s position would somewhat be at par with the role and responsibility of BJP patriarch LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, who also did not figure in the new Cabinet.

But, the northeast which vehemently came out and voted in favour of the NDA did get some representation in the NDA Government with BJP�s Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal and Sarbananda Sonowal from Assam being sworn in as Ministers of State.

Apart from Sangma, Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, who has got together an alliance of regional parties from the northeast and thereafter extended support to the NDA, was also expected to get a ministerial berth in the NDA Government.

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