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Now, Non-Congress Forum For NE Growth

GUWAHATI: Major regional and non-Congress parties of the northeast have decided to come together under one umbrella to work for the development of the region and also fight elections for a stronger presence.

At a meeting chaired by NCP leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma in New Delhi on February 20, 2011 night, seven political parties of the region AGP, Manipur People’s Party (MPP), Nagaland People’s Front (NPF), Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), Mizo National Front (MNF) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) decided to work together under a common forum called the “North East Democratic Forum”. The forum would be formally launched in the city Guwahati in March.

AGP leader and former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, NPF leader Neiphiu Rio, SDF president and Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling and other leaders attended the meeting which took place at the official residence of Union minister of state for rural development Agatha Sangma.

“The like-minded leaders of the northeast have decided to work together and set up a common platform to raise their voice and move ahead in our mission,” Sangma said after the meeting. According to Agatha Sangma, it would definitely help in highlighting the grievances of the northeastern states from a common platform.

The political leaders, who attended the meet, felt that the forum would be helpful in ousting the ruling Congress and their fight against corruption. “I think it would help our fight against corruption and other issues besides throwing Congress out of power,” said state NCP president Dhirendra Deb Adhikari.

He added, “When everyone makes noise together, the sound becomes much louder. I think it would now be easier for us to put pressure on the Centre to get our demands fulfilled.” Adhikari said with the whole NE having 25 MPs in the Lok Sabha, it would definitely leave a mark.

On the other hand, AGP is likely to join hands with other regional forces soon to combat Congress while attempting to be a part of the Northeast Democratic Front (NDF). Though AGP hasn’t confirmed joining the forum, it hinted to be a part of the group to strengthen an anti-Congress lobby in the region as well as the state.

“We have sat with the northeastern leaders to form this forum which will work beyond electoral politics and try to lend a voice to the problems of the northeast in New Delhi. Though we have to get a party approval to join the forum, we welcome this initiation and hope it will certainly make the anti-Congress lobby stronger,” said AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary.

AGP believes that the creation of such a united forum would surely bridge the gap between many political parties.

“The front can only sustain when all political parties will join hands to fight against Congress and its corrupt politics. Though there might be variations between many national and regional parties in their political ideologies, we believe that the opposition parties should resolve their differences and rise against Congress,” added Patowary.

(Courtesy: TNN)

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