Sangma rescues Alva and Lapang to attend Sonia's rally

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Shillong, Feb 23 (UNI) Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma today came to the rescue of his political rivals, who a day ago had criticised him.

The incident occurred at Dobasipara helipad in West Garo Hills, when AICC general secretary in-charge Margaret Alva and Chief Minister D D Lapang were stranded without a vehicle after they landed.

At the same time, Mr Sangma had also landed and was to address a rally in the area.

Seeing his rivals' in dilemma, Mr Sangma offered his vehicle from his convoy, which the two Congress leaders readily accepted and just about reached in time to catch hold of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's rally at Dakopgre MP Stadium in West Garo Hills district.

''I found Ms Alva and Mr Lapang stranded at the helipad and inquired what happened. They informed that their vehicles have not arrived and so I offered my vehicle, which they accepted,'' Mr Sangma told UNI.

''Political difference is one thing, while individual affiliation is a different matter. I have helped them in my individual capacity,'' he said.

Ironically, Ms Alva yesterday lashed out at Mr Sangma for fielding his two sons Conrad and James in this election, which she claimed it was as good as running the NCP as his fiefdom.

On the other hand, the Congress chief indirectly slammed Mr Sangma at her two election rallies today in Jowai and Tura, the hometown of Mr Sangma, contesting from here as the Chief Ministerial candidate for the NCP.

''Some people have shifting loyalties. I would like to know what is their stand on various burning issues of the state concerning people? But these people will not make their stand clear and are shifting for their personal interests,'' Ms Gandhi said.

UNI RRK SJC VD KN1913

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