Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister and president of the ruling National People’s Party (NPP), Conrad K’ongkal Sangma has vehemently denied the “false accusations” of the BJP over his alleged influence in denial of permission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold an election rally at the PA Sangma Sports Complex in Tura by the West Garo Hills District Administration.
Asserting that he had “no role to play” in denying permission for the PM’s rally scheduled for February 24, he said all permissions for election meetings are given by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the district administration was only adhering to directives issued to them by the ECI.
“All permissions come from the side of ECI and based on its direction, the district administration takes action. So there is no say from NPP or my side; dragging our (NPP and my) name into it is completely wrong. Even I haven’t gotten permissions for many of my rallies,” he said on Monday, a day after controversy arose in this regard.
Sangma further said such things happen during the elections but the BJP has made this into a big issue.
“But we have already said in the beginning that the stadium has two parts. The first part consists of the football stadium, which is ready and it was inaugurated. The other part, which has an indoor stadium and swimming pool, is not ready and we have made it clear. Only half is ready and the other part is not ready,” he explained
Sangma inaugurated the football stadium at the PA Sangma Sports Complex, named after his late father in Tura, West Garo Hills District on December 16, 2022. The football ground is the country’s largest pre-engineered composite stadium and the first natural ground of international standards in Meghalaya.
It was categorically stated that only the football ground was inaugurated while the rest of the Stadium would be ready for inauguration by December 2023.
On the possible reasons for the PM not getting permission for the rally, Sangma reasoned, “It is a fact that when PM Modi holds a programme, the crowd will be huge. So, I feel, that the district administration may have felt that since it is a natural turf, and if many people would come, it would be damaged and also there is no parking facilities there”.
BJP national general secretary Rituraj Sinha had on Sunday alleged that Chief Minister Sangma was trying to stall the election rally of Prime Minister Modi.
“Is Conrad Sangma and Mukul Sangma scared of us (BJP)? They are trying to stall the BJP’s wave in Meghalaya. You can try and stop PM’s rally but when Narendra Modi has made up his mind to speak to the people of Meghalaya, no strength in this world can stop him from doing so,” Sinha said.
Sinha questioned why he (Conrad) had inaugurated an incomplete stadium in December last year.