Call for eliminating money power in polls

EKH district admin observes National Voters’ Day

SHILLONG: The office of the East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner on Monday observed National Voter’s Day with a clarion call on the need to raise the voice against use of ‘money power’ in elections.
Speaking on the occasion, former minister A.H. Scott Lyngdoh said the quality of election has gone down and lamented that election reforms has not taken place, staggering the growth for the right type of Democracy.
Sharing anecdotes from his stint as a seven time legislator, he mentioned that voters take advantage during election time and approach candidates for financial help. “Partly the blame goes to the voters. Back in my days people would roam in the streets and would put up their inked finger saying that they have voted 3 /4 times but nowadays, such malpractices have come down,” he stated.
“People demand money during elections and it is ultimately the people who will suffer,” he added.
Expressing disappointment that elections cannot be fought without money, he observed that elections these days are not fought on the basis of issues but on the basis of money power.
The former minister also bemoaned that the quality of leadership also suffers in this situation.
He questioned the gathering as to the kind of representatives they vote and stated that without election reforms, educated and honest people who do not have enough monetary strength will not have a chance in the 2018 elections if the same trend continues.
Lamenting that some educated people do not possess EPIC cards, he said the occasion of National Voter’s Day serves the purpose to encourage people to vote and added that voters must take a stand and turn up for meetings by representatives.
Alan Dkhar of the UDP echoed Lyngdoh’s view and stated that governance is all about money power. He was of the opinion that the nature of campaign in Meghalaya is often dismal which leads to low turnout of voters.
“The Election Commission is     not sensitive to Meghalaya’s needs since the laws here are different compared to mainland India,” Dkhar said.
Speaking out against doubtful voters, Dkhar said, “The Election Commission should wake up and pay attention to Meghalaya’s porous borders. The voters’ list management has not received the attention it deserves.”
East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner P.S. Dkhar said it is time to have a change in Democracy and urged the youths to participate in voting so as to secure the future of Democracy.
Stating that the Election Commission has many shortcomings which according to him will undergo due process of reformation, he said, “The Election Commission should strengthen itself and make laws and rules for democracy to be assured.”

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