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Shillong LS candidates find common ground

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NPP, Congress and VPP absent at the event that focussed on the issues of ILP, language and boundary dispute

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, April 13: Representatives of political parties and two independent candidates for the Shillong Lok Sabha seat debated but largely agreed on issues such as the implementation of the inner-line permit (ILP), the inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, and the interstate boundary dispute on a common platform at Mawkhar.
The candidates or representatives of the NPP, Congress, and VPP skipped the election-oriented programme. Independent candidates Lakhon Kma and Peter Challam participated while the Regional Democratic Alliance was represented by the UDP general secretary, Jemino Mawthoh.
Mawthoh underlined how the boundary dispute with Assam, the language issue, and the ILP have been gathering dust for decades. He outlined the importance of reaching an amicable solution and taking all the stakeholders on board to resolve the boundary dispute.
“The ILP and the language issues need more political pressure to be passed in Parliament. For this, we need to elect a knowledgeable candidate,” he said, pitching for the unity of the regional forces.
Kma emphasised the importance of uplifting the poor and downtrodden. He suggested including skill development in the state’s education system to promote and nourish students’ talents.
He pointed out the lack of specialists in healthcare institutions, especially in the PHCs and CHCs in rural areas.
Regarding unemployment, he said job opportunities should be given to locals in all central institutions and offices in the state apart from the promotion of entrepreneurship. He also addressed the border, ILP, and language issues among others. “I have contested as an independent candidate, and it will not be difficult for me to stand in Parliament alone,” he said.
Challam said the MP elections differ from the MLA and MDC elections, and people should choose wisely. “An MP represents the entire state at the national level and it becomes all the more important to ensure that the people choose the right candidate to represent them,” he added.
He also pitched for better healthcare, education, and employment generation.
The people who attended the programme took part in a question and answer round. The political leaders answered a volley of questions thrown at them.

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