Republic Summit
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma speaking at Republic Summit 2019, New Delhi on Wednesday. Image credit - Twitter @republic

On the second day of the Republic Summit 2019, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma highlighted several issues from insurgency, challenges to development in the Northeast.

Addressing the two-day Republic Summit 2019 held in New Delhi, chief minister Conrad Sangma said, “I think this whole idea of India first is shrined in each one of us but having said that obviously India is a very diverse nation and I think striking a balance between that is really where the challenge lies for all of us.

Saying that Northeast has more than 200 tribes, Conrad said Meghalaya itself has many tribes and many languages.

“In fact, if you travel 10km-15km in a state like Manipur and the dialect changes that are the types of complexity that we have.”

“So, I think the leadership along with the flexibility in the constitutional framework that we have is really what will allow the beautiful nation of ours which has this complexity yet as you said the nation’s first approach will really help to move forward,” said Sangma.

While speaking about the decline in insurgency in the Northeast, Conrad said, “There are many other aspects I think that we need to talk about.”

“As a state and as a region, Northeast has always been a place where we have been challenged by insurgency, but we have seen that the constitutional framework that is there allowed a lot of discussions on areas like Mizoram and Nagaland.”

“The insurgency had gone down in those regions because of the way things have been approached in the last few years and also because of the way our constitution has allowed these differences and complexities to be addressed,” the Meghalaya CM said.

The Meghalaya CM said, “We will have to leave behind the past and move forward. Northeast has certainly moved forward in that line.”

“So I think there is always a way forward respecting different communities and the difference that we have yet kept the nation first,” he added.

Chief minister Conrad Sangma also spoke about the problems faced by the state of Meghalaya and how the state is looking forward.

He asserted, “I think there should not be any doubt in keeping India first in anything that you do, but that doesn’t mean you become communal against others.”

“Today we are at a point where the youth and people are willing to develop further,” the Meghalaya CM said.

“Development is the base and if we are able to address the socio-economic issues, we will be able to resolve most of our problems,” he further said.

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