Meghalaya CM accused of usurping NPP from Manipur

Expelled party leader says Conrad Sangma planned a coup from the ‘soil of Manipur’

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma usurped the National People’s Party (NPP) that was born in Manipur, an ousted leader of the party has said.

The NPP rules the two north-eastern States in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and other political entities.

Thangminlien Kipgen, who claimed to be the president of the NPP’s Manipur unit despite his expulsion for anti-party activities in August, said Mr. Sangma planned a coup from the “soil of Manipur” by projecting his father, the late Purno A. Sangma, as the founder of NPP.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Kipgen said the NPP was born in Manipur in 1989 with K. Brajamohan Dev Sharma as the founder president, Thangkholet Kipgen as founder vice-president and L. Shital as the founder general secretary. The NPP won three of the five seats it contested for the 60-member Manipur Assembly in 2007 but was derecognised by the Election Commission in 2012.

Mr. Kipgen claimed former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma had wanted to join the NPP before leaving the Nationalist Congress Party.

“The Meghalaya Chief Minister is now trying to own the NPP by projecting his late father as its founder,” he said.

NPP rejects claim

The NPP rejected his claim, saying Purno A. Sangma had always acknowledged the party’s roots.

“In January 2013, when the former Lok Sabha Speaker launched the NPP at the national level with a book as its symbol, he said the NPP had been active for some time as a recognised party in Manipur,” a spokesperson said from Meghalaya capital Shillong.

Mr. Conrad K. Sangma had on August 26 expelled Mr. Kipgen for allegedly going against the party’s constitution by announcing his election for the post a few days before.

Mr. Sangma was in Manipur capital Imphal on September 13 to discuss the NPP’s prospect for the upcoming by-election in 13 Assembly seats in the State. He reiterated that the August election in which Mr. Kipgen was elected the State unit president was unconstitutional.

He added that N. Kayisii, Manipur’s Tribal Affairs Minister, would continue to be the State unit’s interim president until a new election committee was appointed.

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