Pre-poll jibe at Ampareen's flip-flop

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Shilong
  • Published 24.07.09
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Shillong, July 24: Independent candidate from Laitumkhrah, George Garry Nongkhlaw, today urged voters to teach politicians who change loyalties a lesson.

Nongkhlaw, once a supporter of Congress nominee and education minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, was referring to her change of stand while addressing reporters here.

The 28-year-old Independent said the byelection was an opportunity for the voters, especially the youths in the constituency, to teach lessons to those candidates who change political parties frequently.

The byelection to the Laitumkhrah constituency scheduled for August 18 was necessitated after Ampareen who had contested and won on a UDP ticket, resigned as MLA and joined the Congress during the political crisis.

As a reward for joining the Congress, Ampareen, a non-legislator, was inducted as education minister when the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance assumed power in May.

Ampareen today filed her papers before V.R. Syiem, the East Khasi Hills additional deputy commissioner, who is the returning officer.

In fact, Ampareen, a former youth Congress leader, joined the UDP after she was denied a ticket by the Congress for the 2008 Assembly elections after her brother R.G. Lyngdoh, also from the Congress, opted out of the fray.

Nongkhlaw was the vice-president of the youth wing of UDP when Ampareen contested and won the Laitumkhrah seat during the 2008 Assembly elections. He said the shift in Ampareen’s loyalty would not be acceptable to the people of Laitumkhrah.

Nongkhlaw said political leaders of the state should follow principles and not succumb to position and power.

To a question on the alleged use of money power by the Congress to win the seat, Nongkhlaw said the people of Laitumkhrah are wise enough to differentiate the parties that use unfair means to win the elections.

“I know there are poor voters too in Laitumkhrah constituency, but the Congress candidate should not induce voters with money. Moreover, those who accept money will be selling their souls to the devil,” Nongkhlaw said.

He also said the MLA scheme had not been properly utilised in the constituency and assured transparency and accountability on his part if he gets elected as the legislator.

The provision of adequate employment opportunities for the youths, supply of pure drinking water, better roads and drainage system and installation of streetlights are part of Nongkhlaw’s agenda.

He expressed concern at the lack of cleanliness in Laitumkhrah and assured to maintain the same if elected.

Nongkhlaw said that he would take steps for passing the marriage act, special policies on education, health and sports and youth affairs besides empowering traditional institutions.