The General Assembly Elections 2018 for Meghalaya for once will have a definite vision to elect the government to host the 39th National Games in 2022, of which the infrastructure should be completed by 2021 as the deadline. Immediately after the National Games, the state will be celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Statehood day. The momentum for aspirant legislators for luring votes seems to have started on January 3, 2017 as the starting torque through the Tripartite contract signing for the event between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Meghalaya State Olympic Association (MSOA) and the state government of Meghalaya at a function held at the Main Secretariat , Shillong.
The target has already been set to complete all infrastructure within the timeline, or Rs 2 crore per year is the penalty for any delay in hosting of the games, as informed by IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta.
Last month, Prime Minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi was the first person to have initiated the government machinery to focus on the 50th year of Meghalaya Statehood, also a challenge for the next government, which will be steering the state towards the Golden Jubilee. He announced that on such an auspicious occasion the state will also host the National Games 2022, being an excellent opportunity for the State to make new oaths, which also coincides with 50 years of constitution and National Games. Further, the Prime Minister also pointed out that in 2022, the nation will complete 75 years of Independence.
Meghalaya, along with Nagaland, Tripura and Karnataka are poll bound states, going to poll tentatively by February, for Meghalaya to elect the 10th Assembly. Once the Code of Conduct is imposed with the announcement of the poll dates, election fever will kick-start and will prompt all political rivals to attack each other. Hopefully they will not forget to talk about the National Games and Golden Jubilee of Meghalaya Statehood day.
Usually, Public meeting, debates of all parties’ candidates will be doing the rounds till the last date permitted. The general public, who for that 45 days will be treated as royalty, as all candidates have same motive – lure the vote. As in the rest of the states, Meghalaya too has experienced how votes are being changed at the last moment, be it on money power or false propaganda. The end result is to garner as many votes as possible, because only after five years they will be facing the same people again!
45 - year old Meghalaya is still considered as undeveloped state. 60- Baghmara (ST) in South Garo Hills district is being listed in the National list as one of the most undeveloped districts in India during the last election. Development is seen only in the state capital and headquarters, just a kilometer away from the headquarters towards the outskirts, road connectivity breaks down, there is a lack of drinking water and other essential services too are missing. For how many more terms of state Assembly will the citizen of Meghalaya allow their elected representatives to neglect their duties?
This is the time all the qualified voters to pose questions to all the contesting candidates regarding their vision for Meghalaya, which will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee. The public has the right to oppose the candidate for attempting to reach the Assembly by defaming the opponent on personal attacks, and not on non performance. How many voters went through the manifestoes and agenda of individual candidate, who deserve the vote? Sadly, very few examine such important documents which will decide the fate of the state for five years.
Normally, none of the voters have a vision and demands for the candidate. As the candidates go from door to door canvassing, no one will ask the candidate to perform and instead entrust the entire future in their hands, only to criticize them after the election process is over. This is the right time to select or reject any candidate through mass participation in the process, vote for the performing candidate and vote out the ones who try to make a fortune in the election process. Failing to do now, the public also lose their rights to grumble latter.
Rise and react now, before it’s too late. The block should convene meetings to chalk out the deficiency and drawbacks of their respective jurisdiction and entrust the ones who have the vision and personal capability to either execute or bring in development on need based process. Every constituency has different needs; this is the time to put forward these needs and select the candidate who can address these issues, and not to be lured only for a few hundreds of rupees which will only last for an hour, and spoil the remaining five years.
Hence, seek and demand qualified candidates who are visionaries, planners and have the will to take their constituency forward and also provide good governance for five years. All should participate and come out to vote, because the faith of the state for the next five years depends on every single vote to make Meghalaya proud by hosting the National Games 2022 and also exhibits to the world the 50 years of Statehood as strong and progressive state.