SHILLONG, Feb 10: Rowell Lyngdoh, 79, is an old warhorse of Meghalaya politics who has seen Meghalaya politics transform and develop since its inception in 1972, first from the HSPDP camp for about a decade, and thereafter from the Congress camp, till date. A die-hard Congressman, former Deputy Chief Minister, Rowell Lyngdoh takes pride in having “built” the national party in West Khasi Hills during the eighties. Today, after so many years being in Congress he has switched over his allegiance to National People’s Party (NPP).
As Meghalaya election draws near, and the scrutiny of candidates are over according to the report of the office of Chief electoral officer, Rowell Lyngdoh at 79 years, is the oldest candidate to contest in the ensuing MLA Election 2018 from Mawkyrwat (ST) Assembly Constituency of South West Khasi Hills District.
Lyngdoh was the MLA in the first Meghalaya legislative Assembly after the statehood was achieved.
The former Mawkyrwat MLA also has high level of appreciation for Sonia Gandhi, and also deeper respect in the leadership late Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, however, in the leadership of young leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Lyngdoh expressed his dissatisfaction.
About leadership of Rahul Gandhi he said, “I did not get much chance to meet Rahul Gandhi. Once he campaigned for me in my constituency; other than this I did not get much chance”.
About the leadership of Dr, Mukul Sangma, Lyngdoh alleged, “He has dictatorial attitude, he never consults anybody, decides all by himself and interferes in every department”.
Despite of seven sitting legislators leaving congress, the ruling party has fielded candidates in all 60 seats. Reacting on it the veteran politician said, “I do not see Congress getting more than 10-15 seats in the election. The candidates whom Congress gave tickets do not seem to be very strong,” he said.
Lyngdoh was first elected to the Assembly in 1972 on a Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (HSPDP) ticket from Mawkyrwat constituency.
He was re-elected in 1978 and 1983 from the same party. However, in 1988, he was defeated by B. Bires Nongsiej, the then candidate of the Hills People Union (HPU). Lyngdoh had then contested on a Congress ticket. In 1993, he returned to the Assembly on a Congress ticket, but was defeated in 1998 and 2003 by Nongsiej. Lyngdoh was re-elected in 2008. Although, the last day of withdrawal is February 12, the veteran politician seems to be very enthusiastic to contest election as he is seeking election for the seventh term from NPP.