Thursday, June 13, 2024

Electoral games


Share post:



Apropos the news item “HSPDP not convinced about regional party unity” (ST Nov 18 2011) followed by, “We will fight to preserve party identity: Pyndapborthiaw Saiborne” and “High time for regional parties to join hands” (ST 22nd November 2011), to join hands merging of identity is a must for the regional parties. If the UDP, HSPDP and KHNAM merge, the total vote bank as on 2008 of regional parties works out to 2,92,826 voters which is lesser than that of the Indian National Congress by 65,188 voters. The number does not augur well for the regional forces to come under one platform as Dr Donkupar Roy suggests. In politics there is no such thing as one roof. This reminds me of what Bah BB Lyngdoh stated in his booklet “U Khasi” where he mentioned that “the people of Meghalaya are not affiliated to any political party but are always excited whenever the election draws near. He further questions why the people are excited when the election draws near and answers it himself ‘because it is an election’ . There is substance in the statement of Bah Hopingstone Lyngdoh where he said “bringing the regional forces under one common platform is a clear indication that the only interest is to win elections while forgetting the real issues affecting the State” [ST 18th November 2011]. But at the same time his idea for a Khasi-Jaintia State is absurd with a dwindling vote bank of HSPDP which now stands at 42,250 of which only 1% is from East Khasi Hills, 21% from West Khasi Hills, 2% each from Jaintia Hills and Ri Bhoi District respectively. These are the hard facts which Ma Hoping should accept. However the merging of KHNAM with UDP will not serve the purpose of strengthening the regional forces as their vote bank is dwindling from one election to the next from 51.4 % in 1972 to 48.9% in 1978, 52.27% in 1983 to 47.4% in 1988 and further down to 43.96% in 1993 and ever going down to 34.79% in 1998, 33.13% in 2003 and to 30.43 % in 2008 while the INC climbed up from 9.89 percent in 1972 to 30.4% in 1978 and down to 27.2% in 1983. It went up to 32.65% in 1988 and further up in 1993 to record 34.48% and remained at that level in 1998. It went down to 30% in 2003 and it is up to 33% in 2008. Given the present level playing field the prospect for the regional forces to combat the Indian National Congress is ripe but the big question that lingers is that the regional forces were and are never united except during the election when they seek a platform to befool the electorate. The merging of KHNAM with UDP should be given a careful thought. After all KHNAM was a ‘Movement’ which lost its momentum because it moved in to join the Government and thereby lost its credibility. Otherwise it is a growing political movement, but perhaps the leaders were impatient. Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement is a Party which has made headway. It started from scratch to get 32,828 supporters in 2003 and it jumped to 48,766 supporters. This is by no means an easy task. If merger is the issue let all the regional parties merge their identity under a new united banner and take advantage of the existing level playing field.

Yours etc.,

VK Lyngdoh,

Via email

 Byrnihat an extortion town?


Byrnihat should not only be known as an Industrial Town but it should also be known as an Extortion/Istanbul Town. Recently, I had a very horrifying experience in this Industrial Town which will be hard to forget. While crossing the EPIP area my trucks were interrupted by some boys who came out of a grand building and started demanding exorbitant amount of money from my trucks in the name of some Ri-Bhoi Suppliers’ Association and Non-Tribal License. When I confronted these boys about the antecedent of these Associations, they started threatening me with dire consequences if I do not cough up the sum demanded. What surprised me was that these boys were on the verge of thrashing me in broad daylight right in the middle of a busy road for not meeting their illegal demands and no one around was concerned or came to my help. At last fearing for my life I gave in to their demand and paid them Rs. 6000 for my three trucks and only then was I allowed to leave the place. On inquiry about the proprietor of these gates, I came to know that several Headmen, NGO leaders and two serving headmasters of M.E. School in Byrnihat are involved in this loot. This revelation was so shocking that I could not believe for a second that responsible and respected members of the society could stoop so low to satisfy their greed. Is the Meghalaya Government so bankrupt that now its school teachers have to resort to extortion to make their ends meet? This question will be better answered by the Inspector of Schools of Ri-Bhoi District. What is more surprising is that local guardians too are turning a blind eye to all these nefarious practices. But how can we expect them to perform their duties efficiently when the moulders and shapers of the society themselves are the stakeholders of such illegal corporations. It is high time that people of Byrnihat wake up from self imposed slumber and kick out such self interested parasites so that others who are elected to such responsible positions would think twice before misusing their good offices.

Through this esteemed daily, I would like to request the Ri-Bhoi District Authorities to stop the daylight robbery immediately and take stringent action against the proprietor of this extortion racket so that it will serve as a deterrent for all those Headmen and school teachers who dare to open the extortion shop called “Ri-Bhoi Suppliers’ Association.

Yours etc.,

L Shakwa,



Related articles

Bajrang Dal members burn effigies during a protest over the Reasi terror attack, in Kanpur, on Wednesday

Bajrang Dal members burn effigies during a protest over the Reasi terror attack, in Kanpur, on Wednesday. (PTI)

Dhar pins NPP poll debacle on govt’s ‘shortcomings’

We want to apologise for our shortcomings. We will work harder and try to improve: Dy CM By Our Reporter SHILLONG,...

BJP says relations with NPP strong in spite of poll fiasco

By Our Reporter SHILLONG, June 12: The BJP on Wednesday insisted that the talks about strained relations between the...

MTDC denies awarding ‘renovation’ contract

PINEWOOD HOTEL ROW By Our Reporter SHILLONG, June 12: The Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) on Thursday denied allotting the...