The National Peoples Party, which is part of the BJP-led coalition North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), would contest the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly elections alone, NPP president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has said.
"The NPP plans to contest as many Assembly seats as possible in Arunachal Pradesh alone while remaining a partner of the NEDA," he told reporters on Friday, 11 January.
Terming NEDA as a platform to plan for economic development, he said that all parties are free to maintain their respective identities, which the NPP would do.
That is why despite alliance with Arunachal Pradesh's ruling BJP government, the NPP would fight Assembly seats alone, the NPP president said.
Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh are due along with the Lok Sabha elections.
The NPP is part of the BJP-led N Biren Singh government in Manipur and also of the Neiphiu Rio led NDDP government in Nagaland. The BJP is a junior coalition partner in the Conrad K Sangma government in Meghalaya.
The Meghalaya chief minister, who also holds charge of the Finance portfolio said he would call a conclave of all North East Finance ministers for close inter-state cooperation which would immensely benefit the region.
Responding to questions from scribes, he said the Meghalaya government has already adopted a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) bill. On Thursday the Meghalaya Cabinet passed a resolution opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
He said the NPP will be meeting in the coming days to decide on the future course of action of the party with regards to the Citizenship Bill.
On ongoing mining in his state, he said that that has been going on since British time illegally but the NPP government had termed it illegal and the state administration has taken bold steps to check it as 1,000 cases of illegal mining were registered during last two years.
On banning coal mining in Meghalaya, he said it was not possible as people have been doing so since time immemorial. It should be regulated while ensuring environment protection and ensuring safety measures to not snatch away livelihood of the masses.
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