SHILLONG, Jan 11: Happy faces thronged the Bank of Baroda, Upper Shillong branch, as they queued in wait for their turn to encash the Rs 5,000 cheque given to them by the respective MLAs of Mylliem, Mawphlang and Sohiong constituency which few claimed was given under the Livestock and Women Upliftment Scheme while the opposition party feels it is nothing more than a political stunt of the Congress to woo the voters.
While the electorate of the three constituencies had different understanding and narration as the reason for being given the money, yet everyone agreed that all they had to do was walk up to the designated place set for the distribution of cheques with their voter ID and walk out with the Rs 5,000 cheque undersigned and sealed by the Block Development Officer (BDO).
“I really don’t know why we are getting the money; perhaps it is some MLA scheme. I took it because they gave,” said a lady in her late twenties of Mawphlang on anonymity.
Yet another lady in her early twenties from Mylliem constituency, when enquired, said, “I went with my voter ID and I got the cheque. It is a simple process”.
It was not just the case in East Khasi Hills District. There were reports of the same being done at Ri-Bhoi district under Umsning block.
“For the past five years we did not get money for any scheme; Why now? Just because it is time to vote,” said a lady hailing from Umsning over the phone.
She further alleged that people of the elected representatives visited them and asked for their account number and passbook.
With the Assembly polls just round the corner the political jingles have started to grow louder. The three constituencies are being represented by Congress MLAs and the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) wasted no time in alleging the Congress of indulging into money play by distributing money in the name of scheme.
Earlier, addressing the UDP rally at Malki Ground, working president of the party and West Shillong legislator, Paul Lyngdoh slammed the Congress for distributing money to the people of various constituencies in Khasi Hills on the pretext of helping single mothers under the Livelihood Programme stating that this is nothing but a stunt to gain mileage in a crucial time as the state is due to go to poll next month.
“The distribution of a cheque of Rs 5000 to the electorate just before the elections is highly suspicious and this is nothing but a trick to fool people,” Lyngdoh said while cautioning people to stay alert and not to fall into the Congress trap.
Furthermore, he said that the people have to be wary of such political stunts adding that the money or ‘aid’ as referred by the congress is but a loan which needs to be repaid once the time period is over. “Don’t fall for it,” Lyngdoh cautioned the voters.