Sunday, July 14, 2024
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VPP’s strategic move

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Editor,
VPP is basically a state party with an aspiration to win power in Meghalaya in the next election. It also aims to gain control of the ADCs in the state. Hence, it has its own political agenda that is also right in a democracy. It’s decision to abstain from the Speaker’s election was a wise decision as it was a foregone conclusion that Om Birla was sure to win the election due to the numerical strength of NDA. The INDI Alliance also did not press for division of votes after it was decided on voice vote. VPP taking sides at the national politics at this juncture is not at all needed. Voters in Shillong were dissatisfied with the earlier representation, and conveyed a decisive voice through the new political force VPP. The party also has to establish its hold over the entire Meghalaya, particularly in Garo Hills. The party has its own challenges at the state level with the renewed political forces in the state. VPP has to consolidate its hold in Meghalaya, which is a primary concern, rather than aligning with any fluid political combination at the national level. The leaders of VPP are very strategic with a long-term vision. They are here for the longer race in politics and do not subscribe to political gimmicks and tactics. Hence, the decision of abstaining from Speaker’s election was a wise decision. It is also expected with the politically astute and mature leadership of the VPP that it will take its steps in a very calculated manner for the development of Meghalaya. People have lots of expectations from this new political party.
Yours etc.,
Prof. Satya Prakash Dash
NEHU,
Shillong

Rising scourge of drug abuse & illicit trade: A call to action

Editor,
In every generation, societies confront unique challenges, and today, one of the most pressing issues gripping our beloved state is the rampant drug abuse intertwined with an alarming increase in thefts of construction materials. This dual menace is not just a law enforcement issue but a societal crisis that demands immediate attention and concerted action.
In Golf Links, the recent apprehension of a thief stealing iron rods from construction sites in the dead of night sheds light on a deeper problem. When interrogated, the thief confessed that his actions were driven by an urgent need for money to feed his drug addiction. His desperate actions at 3:00 AM underscore the pervasive grip of substance abuse on our youth, robbing them of their potential and plunging them into a cycle of crime.
While credit is due to NGOs like HYC, HITO, FKJGP, and Seng Samla Shnong’s etc., for their tireless efforts in combating drug peddlers and aiding in rehabilitation, their work alone cannot stem the tide. We, as a society, must rally behind them with more than just words—action is paramount.
The role of law enforcement and the government is pivotal. While commendable, their current efforts in combating drug abuse can and should be enhanced. The potential of our police department is vast, and with greater dedication and consistency, they have the capability to become exemplary in the country.
However, a glaring aspect of this crisis often overlooked is the complicity of scrap buyers. It is deeply concerning to discover that these buyers in Polo, from Taxi Stand Nongmynsong to NeepCo, knowingly purchase stolen iron rods from desperate youths. These transactions not only perpetuate theft but also fuel the drug trade indirectly. According to Section 411 of the IPC, these buyers could themselves face legal repercussions for dealing in stolen goods, yet their actions continue with impunity.
Recent incidents reveal a disturbing trend where numerous individuals flock to sell stolen iron rods in the early hours of the morning. This thriving black market is not only illegal but also morally bankrupt, exploiting vulnerabilities within our community for personal gain.
It is imperative that law enforcement agencies take decisive action against these scrap buyers. By dismantling this illicit network, we can sever the financial incentive for theft and curb the demand for drugs among vulnerable youth. A crackdown on these buyers would send a clear message that such illicit activities will not be tolerated, safeguarding our community’s integrity and deterring future criminal acts.
As concerned citizens, we must advocate for stricter enforcement measures and support initiatives that offer rehabilitation and alternative opportunities for our youth. By addressing both the supply and demand sides of this crisis, we can begin to rebuild lives shattered by addiction and restore hope in our communities.
The path ahead is challenging, but with collective determination and unwavering resolve, we can reclaim our streets from the clutches of drug abuse and illegal trade. Let us stand united in this critical endeavour, ensuring a safer and brighter future for generations to come.
Yours etc.,
Khrawpyrkhat David Mynsong
Shillong

On stand-alone MPs

Editor,
The editorial “Non-aligned MP in Parliament” (ST 27, 2024) made interesting reading. When a Member in Parliament in the Lok Sabha abstains from voting during the election of the Speaker, it can imply few things: The MP may choose to remain neutral, not favouring any candidate. This could be due to personal reasons or a desire to maintain impartiality. Sometimes MPs abstain strategically. They may withhold their vote to signal dissatisfaction with both candidates or to negotiate for future favours or positions. In a hung Parliament or when party lines are blurred, MPs may abstain if their party has not officially endorsed a candidate or if they want to avoid internal conflicts. The MP might abstain due to moral or ethical reasons, refusing to support either candidate. However, abstaining from voting does not necessarily indicate indifference; it can reflect complex political dynamics or individual convictions. Implications apart, in order to promote his ideas and policies an MP has to engage in lobbying and persuade other MPs to support specific issues through letter-writing, emails or social media communication. Then there is a need for networking and building relationships. Networking helps a member of Parliament collaborate with like-minded MPs, regardless of party affiliations. Members of Parliament can form cross-party alliances to advance shared causes and address common concerns.
By networking, Members of Parliament increase their visibility within Parliament. This recognition can lead to opportunities to speak, propose amendments and contribute to legislative processes. In the case of Dr Syngkon, Member of Parliament, the editorial rightly pointed out that “pragmatism dictates that implementing the VPP’s manifesto would require all the negotiating skills of the new MP which also means the support of the ruling party – the NDA. It would necessarily mean constantly lobbying for those demands. How Dr Syngkon manages the balancing act will be keenly watched by political observers across the spectrum”.
Your etc;
VK Lyngdoh
Via email

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