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Trinamool fine-tunes Tura poll campaign strategy

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TURA, March 14: More than 600 Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers from the five Garo Hills districts converged in Tura on Thursday to strategise the election campaign for Zenith M Sangma, the party’s candidate for the Tura parliamentary seat.
The Tura seat is expected to be fought among at least five candidates – sitting MP Agatha Sangma of the National People’s Party, Saleng Sangma of Congress, independent Labenn Ch. Marak, and an unnamed BJP candidate besides Zenith Sangma.
The TMC candidate said the campaign strategy would be worked out in a day for the party members to start wooing the voters.
“The people of the Garo Hills have expressed support for our  candidate and we have decided to do everything we can to represent them. They know an MP from the NPP will never take on corruption in the state head-on,” Mukul Sangma told The Shillong Times after the party meeting.
He said the people have been generally unhappy with the implementation of central projects such as the Jal Jeevan Mission. “The people need accountability from their MP on the implementation of various central and state schemes, and this is where we come in,” he added.
The former chief minister said Congress disappointed TMC by declaring a candidate.
“We have had several meetings as INDIA bloc members but their decision was far removed from reality. We secured more than 2 lakh votes in the last Assembly election whereas they lagged far behind. People can read between the lines and understand what is going on. We are sure that the mandate will be for us,” he said.
The intention of Congress to take on the NDA at the Centre was questionable and not sincere, he added.
Mukul Sangma said one of the principal issues impacting the livelihoods of the people of the state was the smuggling racket of betel nuts and other products into and from Bangladesh.
“Who is facilitating this? Are the authorities not taking cognizance of these acts and responding to their call of duty as envisioned in the Constitution? Any instance of smuggling across the international border threatens national security. You cannot rule out arms and ammunition coming into the state through this channel,” he said.
He said unchecked smuggling could be behind the IED blasts taking place regularly in the state.
“Every year since 2020, the state has seen at least one IED blast in the state capital. Smuggling along the India-Bangladesh border may have led to this alarming situation,” he said, underscoring the increase in drug smuggling and substance abuse in Meghalaya.
On the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, he said it was imposed on the Northeast despite the protests.
“Everyone should remember that the Tura MP voted for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill against the wishes of the people of not only Garo Hills but also of the region,” Mukul Sangma said.

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