Meghalaya General Election 2018 kick-starts with politicians shuffling parties

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
As the date for the upcoming General Assembly Election is drawing nearer, the state machineries and Law and Order situation is already being assisted. The Election Commission of India will be having the review meeting with the Chief Electoral officers of three North Eastern poll bound states- Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura - on the preparedness of the states to go to poll, which will set the heat on as the dust of election rises. In any of the poll bound state, the common features will be the Block Committee meeting, calling for application of respective party’s ticket. This time in the state of Meghalaya, the common discussion is which sitting representative will be seeking re-election from other camp.
Few aspirants and sitting Member of Legislative Assembly who are sure of their party affiliation have already started their door to door campaigning. It is worth mentioning that there are handful of aspirants who have started their campaigning, but after few months, they have resigned from the party and are seeking party ticket for second chance, such is not at all common in the state of Meghalaya.

Once again the upcoming election will witness sitting Member of District Councils contesting the Assembly Election after the Supreme Court in the ruling in January this year upheld the order of the full Bench of the High Court of Meghalaya on the dual posts issue concerning MLAs holding the post of MDCs, vindicating the stand of KHADC chief P.N Syiem, who still continues to hold the post of both MLA and MDC, while seven MLAs had resigned from the post of MDCs. The High Court did not consider their cases, even bye-election was held.
As mentioned, this time the main activities taking place is to trace which sitting MLAs are shifting to which political party, while both the National and Regional parties are delaying in announcing the candidate, awaiting the dissident members to make the first move such that the parent party could take action, if required.
While in the case of the dissidents, they too refused to take the first plunge, not because of the Anti-defection Law, but none would take the risk of forfeiting their pension, in case they are disqualified from the House. Hence, most of them are waiting till the end of the session, while the general masses are the one who will not find it difficult to decide for whom they should cast the vote, either to the charisma of the candidate or remain as diehard to the party as the member.
The outgoing Congress led Government of Dr Mukul M Sangma is all set to be the second politician to complete full five year term in office, the first being Salseng C Marak (February 19, 1993 to March 10, 1998). At the same time Mukul will also be known for the longest serving Chief Minister for eight consecutive years at a stretch, whereas, there is still no assurance that the 10th Assembly Session will be a stable session to sail the state towards the 50th anniversary of Statehood.
The 9th Assembly Session is also known as Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA-II). In MUA government, he had laid number of foundations and launched few landmark flagship programs, but his second term has seen the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government in the centre, having turned Meghalaya into a financially crunch state.
The state is going to poll without understanding the requirement of the masses, nor is there any hope that the Progress Report will be presented by all the 60 elected members, as most of the schemes are either yet to kick-start due to non-availability of fund or incomplete due to financial crunch. Yet they have to keep guessing which coat their candidate will put on to seek vote, because most political parties are yet to finalize their candidate, so also the manifestoes of the party. It is not wrong to say that for once all the candidates will only throw their hat into the ring, knowing well this is one election which will purely be based on how individual charms the voters.


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