The National People’s Party (NPP) National President Conrad K Sangma on Friday released the party’s election manifesto for the 2023 assembly elections called the “People’s Document – Vision 2023-28”.
The document details the vision for the people of Meghalaya for 2023-28, focusing on creating opportunities and employment for the youth, and support to farmers and villages. It also includes a summary of the key achievements titled as ‘Promises Delivered’ and the story of making a better Meghalaya, while the vision details of taking Meghalaya from better to Best.
In its manifesto, the ruling NPP promised to create 5 lakh jobs in the next five years.
The document says, “We will create 5 lakh jobs and employment opportunities with special focus on the tourism, agro-processing and knowledge/digital sectors; make efforts to enhance employment opportunities in rural areas to prevent the distress migration; incentivize and attract companies in the IT/ITES/BPO/KPO/Digital sectors to set up businesses in Meghalaya; set up a corpus fund to support the youth engaged in the creative sectors of music, film-making and fashion; continue to give high priority to entrepreneurship as means of generating jobs and employment.”
NPP in its manifesto remains focused on entrepreneurship by creating PRIME hubs across all blocks and supporting entrepreneurs through the PRIME scheme. NPP emphasizes on building up on its success of being the Best Startup State in India and continues creating a better support system to nurture the entrepreneurs.
The document further states, “We will set up knowledge/tech cities in New Shillong and in other parts of the State to further attract investments in the private sector; We will set up/upgrade support centres in major cities of the country where our youth migrate for education/jobs; set up a youth helpline to counsel, inform and educate our youth on career, education, government programs, substance abuse etc.
Though a lot of promises are made by political parties to create jobs in the state, the demand for employment generation is very high in Meghalaya. It may be mentioned that on October 28, 2022, a massive rally against the government’s failure to address the unemployment crisis in the state was organised in the state capital Shillong. Organized by the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), hundreds of activists carrying banners and flags took part during the rally which started from Motphran and culminated with a meeting at Madan Iewrynghep, Fire Brigade. Several people including media persons were assaulted during the rally.
On the issue of languages and ILP, NPP in its manifesto said, Several unparalleled steps (such as the passing of a resolution in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly) have been initiated to address both the inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India and the issue of the Inner Line Permit in Meghalaya after receiving numerous suggestions from the people.”
The party also added, “In line with these steps, the National People’s Party shall continue to engage with the Government of India for the inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India and for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit in Meghalaya.”
However, no elaborate plan for this was divulged in the manifesto.
The demand for an inner line permit in the state is not new; it became even stronger after the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act. A long-pending demand of the pressure groups and the political parties of Meghalaya ‘No ILP, No Rest’ reverberated across the state, but it has not been able to change Delhi’s mind on the issue. The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in December 2019 adopted a resolution for implementing ILP, which places restrictions on the entry of ‘outsiders” into the hill state.
The centre has been silent on the issue and the delay in implementing the ILP has caused resentment and hurt stakeholders and political parties. Since the centre has not spoken out, the people and political leaders remain in the dark about the fate of the resolution.
Apart from this, the party also promised on identification and utilization of the abundant sporting potential of the state by providing world class sports facilities at the grassroot level including stadiums, training, talent identification and scholarships. The existing programs in this area would be enhanced to include a larger pool of talents and increased support to them. NPP’s vision in the sports sector is holistic, from grassroot infrastructure, to supporting sporting talents and hosting of national level sporting events successfully like 2nd North-east Olympic Games.
NPP also promises to create 1,000 Chief Minister’s Facilitation Centers to deliver Government services to every village.
As Support to the farmers- The party promises to continue its support to farmers of the State through flagship programs such as FOCUS and FOCUS+.
Connect every village with all-weather roads and RCC/Steel Bridges, Development of key infrastructures and facilities, Augment Health Sector are some of the promises made by the party.