Former Meghalaya Home Minister Robert Garnett Lyngdoh, currently off active politics, feels that in 45 years of statehood, Meghalaya has yet to develop effective policies in important sectors like agriculture, mining and tourism. The hill state is warming up to the Assembly elections due early next year.
Lyngdoh, had represented the erstwhile Laitumkhrah constituency from 1998 to 2008. He was also the vice-chancellor of Martin Luther Christian University. He is the son of veteran politician Peter Marbaniang.
His sister Minister for labour, information technology and communication, PWD (buildings) M. Ampareen Lyngdoh now represents the East Shillong (earlier Laitumkhrah) constituency.
Bah Robert said that Meghalaya, needs a “viable team” that should work with dedication for a better tomorrow. He also wished that Khasi voters would use reason, and not emotion while voting.
“People should vote responsibly. They must use reason, not emotion. For people to vote responsibly, the responsibility is also on the political system to create a viable alternative for the people to choose,” he told a local journalist.
He rued that the hill politicians aren’t astute enough. ” I often find political parties confuse the people. On one hand, the BJP is working with the National People’s Party (NPP), yet in the open, they both want to field as many as 60 candidates. The UDP and the HSPDP have forged a pre-poll alliance but they are still putting up candidates for a “friendly fight”. We know the NCP is working with the Congress, yet both the parties said they would field candidates on all 60 seats. Is this not confusing the people? Should the political system not provide clarity so the people can vote responsibly?” He indicated that proper pre-poll alliances would give the voters a better choice.
He also said that in Meghalaya, no political party talks about issues like health, education and tourism. “What will they do to create jobs? Nobody talked about governance. Everyone said they would be in the government but they did not talk about governance. We have the National Games in 2022 but the approach and direction are yet to be spelt out. The prestige of the state is at stake.”
“Before election, people have to look at a team and post-election we need a dedicated team. But where are the viable teams for the people to choose? I am asking this because at the end, it is the voters who suffer. The flux within the political system is natural. It is expected but not at the expense of politics,” he added
Bah Lyngdoh also said he was against business tycoons entering politics because it defeats the system of checks and balances required for good governance.
He also pointed out that some parties from outside Meghalaya were adding to the confusion. The emergence of new political parties would only fragment the votes and at the end of election, a party which was not wanted by the majority of voters would be at the helm of affairs.