Shillong, March 18: UDP legislator from West Shillong Paul Lyngdoh today said “money power” had led to a major erosion of the quality of people elected during the recent Assembly polls.
Lyngdoh made the statement in the Assembly while participating in the debate on the governor’s address on the third day of the budget session.
“While there was hardly any success of the poll boycott (called by a militant group), the concern is whether the polls were actually free and fair. There has been a major erosion in the quality of people who have been elected to this august House mainly because of money power,” Lyngdoh, a former student leader, observed.
Apart from the abuse of money power, he said the use of “religion card” during the polls had also led to the subversion of the democratic process.
“This needs to wake up our conscience. We are known to be God-fearing people and regular church-goers with a plethora of NGOs,” he added.
He said the olden days where kings were known to have ruled with their head and heart had gone.
“Those days are no longer there. The quality of head and heart does not matter anymore. What matters is the size of the hand, the depth of your pockets. This is the danger that is being posed, which is much more than the danger posed by the underground groups,” he said.
On the governor’s address, he said it was a mixed pack of tangible objectives and platitudes.
National People’s Party legislator from Dadenggre, James P.K. Sangma, said if free and fair elections have to be ensured, it’s time to use the VVPAT system.
“One mechanism to ensure free and fair polls is the utilisation of the VVPAT system.”
The Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their votes were cast correctly.
It also provides room to detect possible election fraud or malfunction and to audit the stored electronic results.
The The Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail has been developed by Bharat Electrical Ltd (BEL) and Electronic Corporation of India (ECIL).