Sinlung /
24 August 2012

‘Book’ Replaces ‘lock’ in Shillong

A labourer paints the gate of the National People's Party's new office in Shillong on Thursday.

Shillong, Aug 24 :
The NCP “clock” in Meghalaya will not be heard ticking for quite a while as change is blowing over the hills in the abode of clouds.

The winds of change could be witnessed today in the heart of the city as labourers were deployed to wipe out the NCP symbols, which have been dotting the walls of the party office since March this year.
The “clock” was subsequently replaced with a “book”, which is the symbol of the National People’s Party (NPP), hitherto, a Manipur-based party.
This was contrary to the claims made by former Lok Sabha Speaker and erstwhile NCP leader Purno Agitok Sangma that he would form a new political party.
The NPP, Meghalaya state unit, will be launched here tomorrow afternoon in the presence of the defeated presidential candidate where state NCP workers are expected to enrol themselves with the party.
After having fought a losing battle in the bitter war for Raisina Hill last month, Sangma had set the tone for the formation of a new political party, which would be “tribal-centric”, but “open for all”.
Sangma, who arrived this evening from New Delhi, admitted that NPP is already a registered recognised party with the Election Commission, and only the Meghalaya state unit of the party will be formed here tomorrow.
All the NCP members and legislators will be present during the formal launching of the state unit.
Sources said the 13 NCP legislators would not immediately join the NPP lest they unnecessarily attract disqualification from the state Assembly.
“The legislators have been deliberating the fundamentals of the prospect of merging with the NPP, and they are yet to decide when they would part ways with Sharad Pawar-led party,” the source said.
The 13 legislators include Sangma’s sons — James and Conrad. Sources said Sangma’s daughter, Agatha, who is currently the Union minister of state for rural development, would not jump ship as yet.
“She (Agatha) might even join the NPP just before the next Lok Sabha polls,” the source added.
According to Sangma, the state NCP legislators will not face any problem in joining NPP, and that it will be considered as the merger of NCP with NPP.
The formation of the NPP here also comes just few months away from the next Assembly polls scheduled for February-March next year.
A few months ago, the state unit of NCP had announced the list of more than 20 candidates, including sitting legislators, who will be contesting the Assembly elections.
Ironically as it may sound, it was the former Lok Sabha Speaker who had inaugurated the Meghalaya NCP office on March 17, and it will be the same Sangma who will launch the NPP state unit from the same venue.
Before he threw his hat into the presidential ring against UPA nominee and eventual winner Pranab Mukherjee, Sangma had resigned both from the NCP and the Meghalaya Assembly.
It may be mentioned that the NPP had fielded five candidates in the 2012 Manipur Assembly polls, but could not win any seat. Five years earlier, the party had three legislators in the Assembly.


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