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A pledge to be the ‘different’ one

Robert Romawia Royte

Aizawl, March 26: Government employee-turned-successful entrepreneur Robert Romawia Royte, Independent candidate for Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha seat, has promised that if he ever gets elected to Parliament, he would be a “different” MP.

Accusing the previous MPs from Mizoram of not doing enough to draw funds from the Centre, Royte said he would do “more than utilise the MP local area development funds”.

“There is a huge amount of funds at the Centre, which can be obtained for development in Mizoram,” Royte said.

“If, without being an MP, I could get sanctions for over Rs 1,500 crore for Meghalaya and Nagaland out of their annual plans in a few years, how could I not do the same and much more for Mizoram if I am an MP?” he asked.

Royte, the CMD of Northeast Consultancy Services — a private firm he floated a few years ago — was referring to the services he rendered as a consultant to the governments of Nagaland and Meghalaya.

Royte, 47, is the nominee of the United Democratic Front (UDF), an alliance of eight Opposition parties — Mizo National Front (MNF), Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP), Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC), BJP, NCP, Maraland Democratic Front (MDF) and Hmar People’s Convention (HPC).

He is contesting as an Independent against sitting MP C.L. Ruala, re-nominated by the Congress, and retired IAS officer M. Lalmanzuala, fielded by the Aam Aadmi Party.

“With the Congress ruling in the state and the BJP-led NDA likely to form the next government at the Centre, it is the best for Mizoram to have an Independent MP,” Royte said.

He claimed intellectual groups in Mizoram and neutral voters share his view.

On the complaint submitted to the returning officer against him by the Congress, Royte clarified that no corruption case has been registered against him.

“When I asked the Anti-Corruption Bureau, I was told that a complaint had been filed some years ago and a preliminary inquiry had been made but the bureau found no reason to register a case. When I asked the state governments of Nagaland and Meghalaya, they told me I had been given awards (for the commendable services)”.

Before floating his own firm, Royte had worked under the Mizoram government’s education department, holding different posts from a school headmaster to circle education officer to Sarva Shikshya Abhiyan state project director.

Royte claimed that during his government services he did not receive a single rupee as bribe and this is the secret of his happiness.