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Independent legislator Rophul S Marak on GNLA hit list

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-27 07:46

Tokyo clarifies his stand, says he is not connected with ASAK
Staff Reporter
TURA, March 26: Independent legislator from Rongara – Siju Constituency in South Garo Hills Rophul S Marak’s name has reached the hit list of the dreaded Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA).
This was revealed by Mingran T Sangma on Tuesday at Tura while interacting with journalists. Mingran has been indicted by GNLA to be one of the main persons behind the formation of militant outfit ASAK (A’chik Songna An’chakgipa Kotok).
Mingran listed number of people, which includes the whole ASAK team, as well as MLA Rophul S Marak who are now the targets of GNLA.
According to him, the GNLA is set to wipe out ASAK and any of its supporters for breaking up from the group itself. He alleged the recent killing of Servison R Sangma in Williamnagar, which the GNLA team had said was accidental, was not accidental at all. He alleged the killing had been thought off and planned accordingly.

Categories: News

Its officially 10; Symbols allotted, none withdraws nomination for Meghalaya LS poll

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-27 07:46

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 26: The Election Commission Wednesday allotted election symbols to candidates contesting for Shillong and Tura Parliamentary seats in Meghalaya even as none of the candidates withdrew their nomination papers.
Altogether, 10 candidates are all set to battle each other for the two Parliamentary seats in state in the ensuing Lok Sabha (LS) poll slated for April 9.
“There was no withdrawal of nomination papers by candidates from Shillong seat,” election officials said here.

Categories: News

Congress top brass to visit Assam for election campaigns

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-27 07:45

Our Correspondent
GUWAHATI, March 26: Congress chairman Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will visit Assam from March 27 for election campaigns in the state.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will visit Assam for election campaigns in the state and will address three rallies.
A top source of Assam Pradesh Congress said that Rahul will take part in two election rallies in Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency for the party candidate Bhupen Bora and another rally in Dibrugarh LS constituency for the party candidate Paban Singh Ghatowar.

Categories: News

Cyclonic storm claims 4 in WKH

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 06:06

NONGSTOIN: At least four persons, including a five-month-old baby, died and 41 others sustained injuries when a severe cyclonic storm hit West Khasi Hills district leaving several people homeless ravaging 9 villages on Wednesday night.
34 injured persons were admitted to Nongstoin Civil Hospital, while  seven others, who were in a critical condition, had been forwarded to Shillong for better treatment.
The cyclonic storm, which first hit Risiang village, uprooted trees and electric poles and pulled apart houses and damaged several vehicles.
The 10 affected villages are Risiang, Japung, Ladnongsba, Khliehmawlieh, Domwahlang, Nongrangoi, Lumpyngngad, Mawkynbat, Mawsngapwir and Mawkynrum.
Lumpyngngad, Domwahlang and Nongrangoi have sustained major damages with every single house being damaged.
The deceased have been identified as Pynibor Nongsiej (10), Edmund Nongsiej (22) (Uncle and Niece) of Domwahlang and Phibanroi Marngar Marngar (22) and her daughter 5-month-old from Lumpyngngad.
The latest reports say that altogether 193 houses were completely destroyed by the storm, out of which 55 households have lost everything. Schools, Community hall and Churches were also destroyed.
Over 220 persons have been rendered homeless.
West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner S Kharlyngdoh has directed the Block Development Officer (BDO) Nongstoin to send the Gram Sevak to the cyclone hit areas on Thursday to assess the damage and prepare a report to be sent to Government. four relief camps have been set up in to accommodate the displaced persons.
Deputy Commissioner also sanctioned Rs 10 lakh so far for those affected in the natural calamity.
Members of KSU’s Nongstoin circle rushed to affected villages and provided rice to the affected families.

Categories: News

Singer made brand ambassador of LS poll

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 06:05

SHILLONG:  Appointing brand ambassadors is quite in vogue now, companies do so to add glamour to their products, organizations to promote their ideas and even state governments sometimes do so to project images of states. One recent instance is West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appointing film actor Shahrukh Khan the brand ambassador for her state.
Meghalaya has, however, outdid them all and done something quite novel. Prominent singer of Shillong Headingson Ryntathiang has been appointed as the brand ambassador for the Lok Sabha elections 2014 by the Meghalaya Government. The idea is to ensure maximum participation of voters during the Lok Sabha elections.
The singer was formally appointed the brand ambassador on Thursday in Shillong by Chief Secretary  PBO Warjri in the presence  of Chief Electoral Officer P Naik . The CEO said that his department would record his video in which he would be appealing to people to come out in large numbers and exercise their franchise on April 9 when Meghalaya would go to the polls to elect MPs from the two seats in the State.
The State Government is anxious to increase the voter turnout in this year’s Lok Sabha election. The turnout in the 2009 Lok Sabha election was only 64 percent even though the state has a history of large turnouts in Assembly elections.
No prizes for guessing which party would stand to gain if the polling percentage is high.

Categories: News

Cong sings in unison for Pala

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 06:02

SHILLONG:  To clear the air of mistrust that all leaders of State Congress may not be backing the party nominee in the Shillong Lok Sabha seat, a meeting was convened by the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee on Thursday to see that everyone worked together to ensure the victory of sitting MP Vincent Pala.
The MPCC leaders downplayed the rumblings in the party over the allotment of ticket to Pala. It may be recalled that there were many contenders for the Shillong seat from the Congress. There were reports that an influential section of the state party leaders were not keen to field Pala for the Shillong seat and instead wanted either Ronnie Lyndoh or John Kharshiing.
However, the  joint news conference attended by Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, MPCC President DD Lapang, Pala himself, Deputy Chief Minister RC Laloo, Cabinet Ministers Roshan Warjri, HDR Lyngdoh, Prestone Tynsong, A L Hek and Sniawbhalang Dhar, legislator Ronnie Lyngdoh and  Congress leader John Kharshiing asserted that the party would fight the elections united.
The reason for objections from several quarters to the candidature of Pala was the allegation that the MP had campaigned against the party nominees during the last Assembly elections.
Asked about this in the joint news conference, Pala denied the allegations and said, “I will never do that and those were only the perceptions in the Press”.
Besides Ronnie Lyngdoh, Kharshiing and Pala, another Congress aspirant for the party ticket and former Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrop was also present in the meeting convened by MPCC.
Lapang  told newsmen that the meeting  attended by Ministers, MLAs, former legislators, MDCs and  party leaders discussed the matters related to the elections to ensure the victory of the Congress candidate.
Lapang explained that initially there were four contenders for the ticket and Congress leader OL Nongtdu had opted out due to his illness.  Later, Ronnie Lyngdoh also applied for party ticket.
According to Lapang, though there were reports of confrontations and divisions, Congress was a disciplined party. “At the end of the day, we accept the decision of the High Command gracefully”, Lapang said.
According the MPCC chief, ticket aspirant Charles Pyngrope spoke in the meeting on the need to ensure the victory of the Congress candidate.
Lapang said that though there were rumblings, the party was united and the Congress leaders and the party workers would go to the field to fulfill the aim of retaining the seat.
The Chief Minister also echoed the views of the MPCC president and asserted that Congress will win both Shillong and Tura seats.
According to the Chief Minister, differences like in a family were signs of the true spirit of democracy.
He said whether it was Tura or the Shillong seat, the final decision was made by the Congress Parliamentary Board. The Chief Minister said that Congress was committed to fight corruption and in this regard, the Government even formed a strong Lokayukta.
He said the Government would bring more legislations to ensure speedy delivery of services to the people.

Categories: News

Six found guilty in Williamnagar gang-rape

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 06:01

SHILLONG: Over fifteen months after the gang rape of a girl at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills, six persons were on Thursday held guilty by a fast track court, which will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Monday.
It was on December 13, 2012 the 16-year-old girl was gangraped by 16 boys at Williamnagar while she was returning home from the Simsang Festival venue along with her two friends.
Public prosecutor, PL Sebastian informed that the six persons were convicted under Section 376 (2) (G) (gang rape), Section 323 (assault), Section 341 and section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The six convicts are Laston Marak,Tobath Sangma, Platon C Marak, Chengchow D Sangma,Kisen N Marak and Chingkam Ch Marak.
The other juveniles who have been arrested for their involvement in the crime are being dealt with the Juvenile Justice Board in Williamnagar.

Categories: News

KSU firm on ILP implementation

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 06:01

SHILLONG: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) would continue to demand for the implementation of Inner-Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya to check influx and illegal immigration, KSU president, Daniel Khyrïem asserted on Thursday.
Speaking at the 36th foundation day of KSU in front of a monument built in memory of the formation of the student union in the city, Khyrïem said that the stand of the union had not changed with regard to the demand to implement ILP. Stating that the union would continue to pursue till the demand is met, Khyriem asked the union members to remain united on the issue of ILP.
KSU general secretary Auguster Jyrwa said that the union was happy that past leaders of KSU had come together to support the issues concerning the indigenous people. The gathering was attended by former leaders of KSU, including former presidents Michael N. Syiem, Paul Lyngdoh and Samuel B. Jyrwa, who is now the chairman of Northeast Students’ Organisation (NESO)
Syiem said that the KSU was like a shield of the indigenous community especially the Hynñiewtrep people. “As leaders and members of the union, we should be ready to face problems including arrest because these would help to strengthen the community. But we should also remember not to harm others and that others should not harm us,” Syiem said.
It may be mentioned that the State including the capital city had witnessed several case of violence when 13 pressure groups including KSU had held a series of agitations to pressurize the Meghalaya government to implement ILP in Meghalaya after State Government had turned down their demand.

Categories: News

It’s a dying man’s wish, Mukul on Purno contesting polls

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 05:59

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on Thursday termed NPP chief Purno Sangma’s decision to contest April 9 Lok Sabha election from Tura as the wish of a dying man.
It is after a gap of six years that Purno is contesting from Tura after sitting MP Agatha Sangma paved the way for her father.
“In Garo there is a popular saying Cha.e Siangna ( Before I die let me have something)”, the Chief Minister told reporters commenting on the return of  Purno in the race for Tura seat.
Dr Sangma also accused Purno of sacrificing the future of his children including that of Agatha Sangma to be in power and limelight.
Drawing a contrast in providing party ticket to young Daryl Momin compared to the opponent PA Sangma who is old,  Dr Sangma said, “we always provide space for our own children, and the young generation so that they can take up responsibility”.
According to the Chief Minister, it was late Captain  Williamson Sangma who brought young Purno to politics way back in 1977.
“However, now a person instead of building the career of his children is contesting for himself”, the Chief Minister said referring to Purno.
The Chief Minister also blamed Purno for not thinking about his daughter and MP Agatha Sangma (NCP) when he stood for Presidential elections.
“He sacrificed his daughter’s career by going against NCP and by becoming a candidate for the post of President of India without even thinking about her future and this is the difference between us and them”, Dr Sangma added.

Categories: News

Mukul CM of Ampati, not Meghalaya: Purno

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 05:58

TURA: The most noticeable face of the north east in Delhi- Purno Agitok Sangma – launched his election campaign to return to Lok Sabha with a National Peoples’ Party ticket in a public meeting in a remote tribal dominated region of Adokgre, 150 kms from Tura, in North Garo Hills on Thursday morning.
Addressing a crowd of around 2,000 supporters, the veteran politican and former Lok Sabha Speaker blamed Congress chief minister Mukul Sangma for the ills plaguing Meghalaya, particularly Garo Hills.
“There is utter chaos and lawlessness   in the state and Mukul is to blame. He is chief minister of Ampati and not Meghalaya,” said Purno Sangma, accusing the Congress leader of laying focus only on his home constituency while neglecting the rest of the state.
The NPP chief who sustained a leg injury while in Delhi was ferried in on a wheel chair to address the crowd.
He made light of the disability, remarking, “If Karunanidhi (DMK) can sit on a wheel chair and be an MP why can’t I campaign?”
Targetting Congress and its chief minister for the lawlessness plaguing the Garo Hills, he said “Chief Minister Mukul Sangma is shielding militants and allowing them to thrive. This has resulted in a rise in insurgency, law and order breakdown, kidnapping and killing. There is no governance in Meghalaya.”
He justified his return to national politics after a gap of over six long years terming it as the “need of the hour” and added that the situation in the state and Garo Hills had compelled him.
“There are many issues plaguing the north east but no one is bothered. I want to change all that,” said Purno.
Raising the issue of politician-militant nexus and fake encounters, Purno questioned the January 12th encounter in Daren Agal village near Tura in which four ANVC-B militants were shot dead by police under controversial circumstances.
“The encounter was planned by the government, as ANVC-B cadre Ajaju Marak dared to speak on Mukul’s link with the outfit. Why was the ANVC-B cadres not identified, why were their photos not released,” he questioned the Meghalaya government.
Calling upon the voters of Garo Hills to usher in change, he said, “The national mode is for change and people of Garo Hills have to decide what they want.”
A former chief minister of Meghalaya, Purno lashed out at Mukul Sangma accusing him of diverting funds which were meant for welfare programmes across Garo Hills solely for his constituency of Ampati.
In a lighter vein he said, “just as H D Deve Gowda was known as the PM of Karnataka and not India, so also Mukul Sangma will be known for being CM of Ampati and not Meghalaya.”
Going into national mode, Purno chided top Congress leaders for shying away from a contest in the general elections this time.
“Congress MPs are not willing to contest and some have even refused tickets, as they fear defeat,” said Purno and mentioned the names of top Congress leaders such as P Chidambaram, A K Anthony, C P Joshi, G K Vasant and others, who had refused to contest.
He also took on the Congress-led government for its failure to curb inflation. “Why do we need a government that has failed to curb price hike?”
He said in the last two tenure of the UPA, petrol price was hiked 22 times and onion became costlier than gold.
Sitting MP from Tura, Agatha Sangma, who accompanied her father said, “I have learnt that it is not easy for a newcomer to make things happen in Parliament. We need an experienced politician to represent Garo Hills and Northeast in New Delhi”.
She clarified that she had to vacate the seat for her love towards Garo hills, which needs a seasoned politician.
Purno has represented Tura seat since 1977 for eight consecutive terms. He returns to active politics after a gap of six and half years.
He decided to quit national politics in 2008 to contest Assembly election in Meghalaya. He is filing his nomination on Thursday in Tura. Mukul CM of Ampati, not Meghalaya; Purno

Categories: News

Wife is richer than Paul

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 05:57
UDP candidate owns movable assets of Rs 17,30,706

SHILLONG: United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate for Shillong  Lok Sabha seat Paul Lyngdoh, who filed his nomination papers on Tuesday,  said in his affidavit  that he owns movable assets of Rs 17,30,706 and  had Rs 550000 in hand.
As per the affidavit, the UDP leader has accounts in six banks. He has Rs 87,592 in Meghalaya Cooperative Apex Bank, Rs 28,576 and Rs 10,600 in two SB accounts of HDFC bank, Rs 153383 in IDBI bank,  Rs 67, 224 in Vijaya Bank and Rs 98, 331 in ICICI bank.
When it comes to vehicles, Lyngdoh owns SX 4 Maruti vehicle price of which Rs 7 lakh. He also has two gold rings of half tola each worth Rs 35,000.
Lyngdoh also has immovable asset of Rs 60  lakh including 327571 sq feet non-agricultural land  at Umsning Ri Bhoi district whose approximate market value is Rs 20 lakh. Besides this he also owns a 4975 sq feet residential building at Mawprem whose approximate market value is Rs 40 lakh.
His spouse Sweety Jane Pala is in fact richer than her husband as she has a movable asset of Rs 36,41,223 and she has Rs 27,5000 in hand.
She also has immovable asset of Rs 60 lakh as she owns two residential buildings one at Mawprem and other at Rynjah whose approximate market value are Rs 25 lakh and Rs 35 lakh respectively.

Categories: News

CM on power tariff hike

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 05:56

SHILLONG: People should come out and file petitions before the Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission (MSERC) on the issue of power tariff, narrating their problems, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma told reporters on Thursday.
At a news briefing, a journalist presented a bill to the Chief Minister showing that compared to the nominal rate in the past, his electricity bill during the last month touched Rs 5,000.
The Chief Minister hoped that that the Commission  would be able to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
“Even if MeECL proposes hike in power tariff, the Commission may not accept the proposal” Sangma said.

Categories: News

Mukul govt discards 45 DoNER projects

Shillong Times - Fri, 2014-03-21 05:54
Three new projects at Ampati, Tura, Shillong proposed

TURA: The Mukul Sangma government has allegedly dropped as many as 45 projects under the DoNER ministry estimated at Rs. 356 crore and instead recommended three other projects valued at Rs 245 crore  in their place to the Centre.
The Shillong Times has been privy to a copy of the letter written by a top DoNER ministry official to Meghalaya Government on September 18, 2013 referring to the Chief Minister’s letter that was addressed to the DoNER minister seeking the dropping of retained projects from priority list 2003-04 to 2010-11.
As many as 26 projects under Khasi-Jaintia Hills fell on the deleted list while for Garo Hills there were 15 proposed projects that were to be scrapped including four other proposals.
“Please refer to the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Meghalaya D.O. Letter No. PLR. 113/2008/196 dated 10.09.2013 addressed to Hon’ble Minister, DONER for dropping of retained projects from Priority List 2003-04 to 2010-11 which are yet to be sanctioned due to various reasons and for retention of new projects against it,” stated the letter written by Viay Bhusan Pathak, IAS and Joint Secretary from the DoNER Ministry to Meghalaya Chief Secretary W M S Pariat.
The projects that have been dropped include construction of U Tirot Singh Memorial College in Mairang (Rs 3 crore), construction of school building and boys hostel of Hynriew Shnong secondary school, Mawkyrwat ( Rs 2.95 crore), Construction of Maharam Govt Secondary School, Mawkyrwat ( Rs 2.14 crore), construction of cultural complex-cum-district library auditorium in Williamnagar ( Rs 8.67 crore), construction of outdoor stadium in Tura and Williamnagar ( Rs 13.32 and Rs 7.82 crore respectively) and at Jowai (Rs 9.75 crore).
Some of the road projects that are to be scrapped include construction of a road from Ranikor to Phlangdiloin including a major bridge estimated at Rs 16 crore and the improvement of Baghmara-Maheskola road estimated at Rs 20 crore.
In place of the 45 projects spread across the length and breadth of the state, the Meghalaya Chief Minister has proposed three new ones- football stadium at his home constituency of Ampati ( Rs 40 crore), football stadium at Tura ( Rs 40 Crore) and an International Centre for performing Arts and Culture in Shillong  at a whooping Rs. 165 crore.

Categories: News

Mukul presents Rs 527 crore deficit budget for 2014-15

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-20 06:15

Tax on tobacco and related products increased by 20%
Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 19: Meghalaya Chief Minister on Wednesday presented a deficit budget of Rs 527 crore for 2014-15 before the House, with the proposed Plan Budget being Rs 4,545 crore. He informed that tax on tobacco and related products has been increased by 20 percent and there are proposals to increase tax on liquor and bring textile products under the tax net, with the government also examining a proposal for upward revision of rates on sand and stone.
“I am presenting the 2014-15 budget with a fiscal deficit of Rs 527 crore, which is around 2.2 per cent of GSDP, and well within the parameters laid down by the State’s Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act,” Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, who holds the finance portfolio, said while presenting his Budget Speech in the Assembly on the last day of the Budget Session on Wednesday here.
Presenting the budget estimates, he said, “During 2014-15, the revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 11.128 crore and capital receipts at Rs 692 crore. Excluding borrowings and other liabilities, the total receipts are estimated to be Rs 11,156 crore.”
Stating that the plan grants from the Centre are expected to be Rs 6,527 crore, he said, “I have estimated the state’s own revenue at Rs 1,886 crore.”

Categories: News

Police rescues Digbijoy Das, nabs all abductors

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-20 06:14

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 19: After 41 days in captivity, Digbijoy Das was rescued by Meghalaya Police on Wednesday and also successfully nabbed all the five abductors who had demanded Rs 2 crore as ransom for the his release.
The East Khasi hills police managed to rescue Das just in the nick of time as the abductors were planning to kill him on Wednesday itself, after keeping him hostage for almost one and a half month.
Das was rescued unharmed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Superintendent of Police (City) Vivek Syiem at around 3 am on Wednesday from a secluded hut in Gaspara Simola, Amsui under Nagaon District of Assam, East Khasi hills Superintendent of Police (SP) M Kharkrang informed reporters on Wednesday night.

Categories: News

Mawlai residents impede MUDA trucks from dumping waste in Marten

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-20 06:13

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 19: Peeved over Meghalaya Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh’s statement in the Assembly that two areas in Mawlai have been notified as slum areas, agitated Mawlai residents on Wednesday morning gathered at the Mawlai petrol pump and stopped the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) trucks from dumping garbage in the dumping ground in the area.

Categories: News

Hotel Suruchi gutted by fire, shabby wiring held responsible

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-20 06:12

Staff Reporter
Shillong, March 19: A vicious fire on Wednesday afternoon gutted the hotel Suruchi and partially damaged the adjoining Hotel Swastik in Police Bazaar on Wednesday afternoon. The fire was brought under control by fire fighters after over half an hour’s struggle and using four fire tender vehicles.
According to police officials as well as the hotels’ owner, the fire was triggered by electrical short circuit.
The electrical short circuit took place in hotel Suruchi and eventually spread to Hotel Swastik.

Categories: News

100 villages with 50-yr old roads to boycott Lok Sabha election

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-20 06:08

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 19: There are villages in Meghalaya who have not seen a new road being built or even the old roads being repaired within their vicinity for nearly 50 years.
Moving a Call Attention motion during the last day of the Budget Session in Assembly on Wednesday, HSPDP legislator from Mawshynrut, Witting Mawsor, brought to notice of the House that 100 remote villages in Mawait area, covering eight polling stations, in West Khasi Hills district, have decided to boycott the Lok Sabha polls due to lack of development in the area.

Categories: News

Meghalaya among highest spenders in the country

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-20 06:07

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 19: Meghalaya along with regional states – Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram – have fared better than giant states like Gujarat in a recent study of the 68th National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) of the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in terms of monthly spending.
Though Gujarat has been rated as a state with lesser spending inequality alongside Bihar but this is not going to hamper the prospect of the saffron party BJP in the ensuing general election.

Categories: News

Rahul highlights UPA ‘achievements’

Shillong Times - Wed, 2014-03-19 05:25
Daryl Momin introduced to crowd at Resubelpara, but vote appeal ‘forgotten’

TURA: Launching the election campaign for Congress in Meghalaya at Resubelpara on Tuesday, AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi gave a long list of “achievements” of the UPA government but was silent on the burning issue of militancy in the Garo Hills.
The scion of the Nehru – Gandhi family arrived at the district headquarters of the newly created North Garo Hills district- Resubelpara – to address a crowd of supporters many of whom had been ferried from different corners of Garo Hills, as well as neighbouring Assam.
The venue was the same in which Rahul’s mother Sonia Gandhi had visited in 2003 for the Meghalaya assembly elections and she had promised for the people of North Garo Hills a new district if Congress returned to power in Meghalaya. It’s a different story altogether that the Congress rode to power once again and the new district came into being nine long years after.
Addressing his first ever election campaign in Resubelpara, Rahul spoke at length on the good work done by the Congress and also made an attempt to draw an emotional connect by referring to Congress and the family of party candidate Daryl William Cheran Momin whose grandfather was the first chief minister of the State.
In his 30-minute-long address, Rahul spoke at length on UPA’s flagship programmes and the participation of people from all caste and creed. “The opposition believes in centralization of power and politics of anger. Congress party believes in uniting people, giving power to people, power of youth, women to transform the society and the politics of love”, he said.
He announced one scheme after another which the Congress-led UPA had  presented to the people of the country and the state of Meghalaya, but the Congress leader chose not to raise the burning issue of militancy plaguing the entire Garo Hills region where scores of innocent lives have been lost to bullets. Nor did he make a formal appeal to the crowd to vote for Daryl, the Congress candidate.
He also emphasized on Congress’ ambitious plan to connect Meghalaya through road, rail and air with the rest of India. He mentioned about ongoing and completed projects  like NH 62 (Rongjeng, Songsak – Williamnagar), rail link at Mendipathar and Resubelpara, Shillong by-pass and direct road from Tura to Shillong.
Referring to Arunachal’s Nido Tania killing a few weeks ago in New Delhi, Rahul Gandhi said, “It is because of ignorance that Nido was killed”. Elaborating on the point, he said, “Congress stands for every single Indian for their equal space in the country. People of Garo hills and Meghalaya should feel at home anywhere in India.”
He began his speech by greeting the people in the local dialect, ‘Namenga ma’ (How are you?). The AICC president made references to different policies of state government and and how these could be harnessed for deriving benefits. “Congress party has initiated welfare programmes and development projects in Meghalaya. Our party has put top priority for education and empowerment of youth and women,” he said.
On rural electrification in Meghalaya, Rahul Gandhi said, “Opposition failed to provide electricity, our party ensured rural electrification. In Meghalaya, 85 per cent villages have been covered”. Meghalaya chief minister, Mukul Sangma, social welfare minister, Deborah C Marak, former chief minister, Salseng Marak and host of other politicians and party functionaries were present during the rally.

No public rally for Pala

SHILLONG: The State Congress has failed to arrange a public rally for the sitting MP and Congress candidate for Shillong Lok Sabha seat, Vincent Pala like the one attended by Rahul Gandhi for Tura candidate Darly Momin on Tuesday.
Instead of a public rally, Rahul only met the party leaders at the Convention Centre here on Tuesday night to chalk out strategy for both Tura and Shillong.
Rahul reached Shillong via   road from Guwahati to meet party leaders here after the Pawan Hans chopper carrying him did not proceed further from Guwahati due to poor visibility.
“It was too late when the chopper landed at Guwahati after it took off from Resubelpara on Tuesday evening and Rahul took the road route,” a party leader said.
Earlier, the Pawan Hans chopper was scheduled to land at Umroi.
Due to Rahul’s late arrival, his meeting with party leaders was held only on Tuesday night.   When contacted, a state party leader said that he has no idea why a public rally was not arranged for the Shillong candidate.
The party leader also said he was still in the dark on whether there will any public rally scheduled in Shillong before April 7, which is the last day of the election campaign.
There were reports of  tussle for the party ticket for the Shillong seat with Chief  Minister Dr Mukul Sangma supporting a candidate other than Pala, though the AICC finally allotted ticket to  the sitting MP.

Categories: News