Monday, July 15, 2024

VPP rides on populist politics


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SHILLONG/JOWAI, June 4: Voice of the People Party candidate Ricky AJ Syngkon won the Shillong parliamentary seat with an unprecedented margin of 3,71,910 votes riding on the back of populist politics and people’s desire for change, a change from the mundane politics that has unraveled in the state over the past few years, a change to bring about clean politics and a change of face to represent Meghalaya in the Parliament.
Syngkon secured 5,71,078 votes to defeat three-time parliamentarian and Congress candidate Vincent H Pala who secured a paltry 1,99,168 votes. NPP’s Ampareen Lyngdoh was third with 1,86,488 votes while UDP candidate Robertjune Kharjahrin managed 44,563 votes. Independent candidate Lakhon Kma got 18,582 votes while NOTA (11,008) beat the other Independent candidate Peter Shallam who secured 7,024 votes.
As many as 646 votes were rejected in the Shillong parliamentary constituency.
Syngkon’s victory came at the cost of Pala who suffered defeat in all the 36 Assembly constituencies falling under the Shillong Lok Sabha seats.
The seven constituencies in Jaintia Hills region was once known as Pala’s stronghold but the VPP made a clean sweep in the eastern region of the state.
Pala secured more votes than Syngkon in only Nongpoh and Jirang Assembly constituencies under Ri-Bhoi district.
The outgoing MP was third in the poll race, behind VPP and NPP in Nartiang, Jowai and Raliang. Pala got 3560 votes Raliang, 3599 in Jowai and 2647 votes.
Pala managed a semblance of resistance in his home constituency of Sutnga-Saipung by securing 13,546. The VPP secured 15,777 in that constituency.
The former Congress MP secured 7,505 votes in Mowkaiaw, 6,353 in Amlarem and 5,745 in Khliehriat. The VPP swept the three constituencies by securing 12,743 votes in Mowkaiaw, 17,425 in Amlarem and 19,578 in Khliehriat. Pala trailed in all the 17 constituencies in East Khasi Hills, three constituencies in Ri-Bhoi and West Khasi Hills, and the two constituencies in Eastern West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills.
VPP’s giant killing spree was a setback for the ruling NPP and the MDA just over a year after the party stormed back to power in last year’s Assembly polls.
What led to the downfall of the otherwise well-resourced and well-organised NPP is going to be the focal point of discussion in the party camp for weeks and months to come.
NPP’s Ampareen Lyngdoh has already spoken about introspection and admitted that the party and government need to sit at the drawing board to revise its future plans.
The VPP, on the other hand, had gained massive sympathy and support following the hunger strike called by Ardent Basaiawmoit demanding a review of the Meghalaya State reservation Policy, which appealed to the Khasi-Jaintia voters who stand to gain out of revision of the quota system.
The NPP’s corrupt image and the VPP’s clarion call for clean politics also swung the tide in its favour.
Majority of the youth in Khasi-Jaintia Hills have been really motivated to stand with the VPP with hopes of getting jobs and resolution of their problems by the VPP which is already repositioning itself as the only true regional force in Meghalaya.


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