People’s love crushes money power in Umroi

SHILLONG: How to defeat a rich candidate in Meghalaya?
The answer can come from George B. Lyngdoh of the Congress, who defeated the richest candidate, Ngaitlang Dhar.
While allegations and counter allegations surface from several candidates over use of money power in the just concluded Assembly polls, the case in Umroi proves that money cannot buy votes all the time.
With Rs 290 crore and 144 vehicles, Dhar was the richest candidate though his education qualification is till Class VIII.
Speaking to The Shillong Times, Lyngdoh said he could connect with people of Umroi better as they came forward voluntarily to help him win the election in whatever way possible.
“The affection of the people was such that they brought the little they had in their homes,” Lyngdoh said.
While candidates spent the most during the polls, Umroi was different as people came with pumpkins, rice and other materials to assist the candidates.
He defeated NPP’s Dhar by a margin of 1,018 votes.
Lyngdoh said he got nine months to work with people unlike in 2009 when he unsuccessfully contested the bypoll in Umroi after the death of his father and former chief minister EK Mawlong.
“In 2009, I got only three months and could not concentrate and connect with the people much,” Lyngdoh said. After his win, he wants to help the youths of his constituency by opening a career guidance society.
He also wants to improve the living condition of the people in his constituency as he pointed out that there are nearly 2,500 thatched houses in the area.
“Water supply is another concern as the PHE pipes are lying unattended without any water connection in several parts of the constituency,” he said.
Besides, a day after his win, Lyngdoh convened a meeting with PWD officials to know the status of the Umroi airport which, according to him, needs immediate attention.

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