iTV Network hosted Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma for the third day of its 20-day long series, ‘The Chief Minister’s Podium’. In the exclusive interaction, Sangma talked about the various challenges faced by Meghalaya and the schemes being implemented by his government to solve those problems. He also spoke about his vision for the state and how he plans to encourage people to take up the task of employment generation through entrepreneurship in the state. Sangma also talked about the various inter-state disputes in the region and much more. Read the excerpt from the interview here:

Sangma talked about the issue of connectivity in the northeastern states and said that his government has worked at a radical pace to ensure better road connectivity in Meghalaya. He stated, “We have moved every aggressively to ensure road connectivity is better. We have more than 8-9 flights connecting every N.E state’s capital and Delhi.”

Speaking about his government’s vision for Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma stated, “Governance is a continuous process. Our goal is to see Meghalaya as one of the top ten states.” Highlighting his model of governance, Sangma said, “My focus was on overall governance, delivery mechanism and improving the efficiency of the system.”

The Meghalaya CM also told us about his plans for the economic upliftment of the state. Sangma’s plan involves utilising the resource Meghalaya has in abundance – the topography. “The plan is to focus on areas like agriculture and food processing. The other focus sectors are tourism which we would like to push forward.”

Talking about representation for the entire North-East region, CM Sangma remarked, “Our goal has always been to provide a platform for the North-East region as a whole and I strongly believe that we need a regional voice.” Sangma then highlighted steps taken to develop the education infrastructure in Meghalaya and said, “14 new colleges have been set up in Meghalaya to boost the education infra and more institutes will be set up soon.”

On the issue of employment, CM Sangma said that entrepreneurship holds the potential to unlock the door of economic prosperity for the state. “Entrepreneurship is very important. We have a great opportunity to create entrepreneurs in Meghalaya,” said Sangma.

The interview then took a turn towards politics and we asked about the dynamics between the National People’s Party (NPP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to which Sangma stated that though they are allies under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the NPP has always fought elections on its own terms. Sangma was quoted as saying, “We have made maintained our individual stand in terms of politics.”

CM Sangma also put forth his opinion on the various inter-state disputes in the North-East and said that amicable solutions are the path to embrace to solve such situations. “Proper dialogue is needed for long term solutions to various disputes,” stated Sangma.