Shillong, Jan 30: The United Democratic Party (UDP) legislator, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, has made it clear that his Clean Politics Campaign (CPC) has nothing to do with any particular political party nor was he trying to gain any political mileage out of it.
He had toured villages across Khasi-Jaintia Hills in the eastern part of Meghalaya to motivate the rural masses to support his campaign.
Stating that he had received positive response, the social activist-turned-politician said nearly 70 meetings have already been held in various parts of the Khasi-Jaintia Hills. Over 7,000 people have registered for the crusade.
The rally of CPC of ‘Team Ardent’ is significant in the state ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled early next year.
With UDP seemingly unhappy with Basaiawmoit’s outspoken attitude, speculations run high that the Nongkrem legislator may not get a UDP ticket for the upcoming election. In view of this, it is believed that Basaiawmoit is using CPC as his route to success in the upcoming 2013 Meghalaya Assembly elections.
However, the legislator himself has not commented much on the issue of him going into election as an independent candidate. He has nether completely ruled out this possibility nor accepted it, except saying “let‘s see”.
Close on the heels of Team Anna’s anti-graft campaign across India, Team Ardent or better known as CPC has been hosting mass rallies in different parts of the state and on Monday, it was held at Iewrynghep ground in Shillong with a mission to eradicate malpractices in governance and politics.
‘Team Ardent’, which has been campaigning for ‘clean politics’ for more than one and a half year in the state, took strong exception to the Congress-led government in the state for defending the corrupt.
With a year left for the 2013 battle of ballots in Meghalaya, the “partyless campaign” initiated by Basaiawmoit aims at educating people about the electoral politics, ills of corruption, rights and duties of citizens and responsibilities of the lawmakers.
Team Ardent member and convener of Right to Information Movement (MRTIM) Michael Syiem asserted, “A government that defends the corrupt officers and corrupt businessmen is a corrupt government.”
He was addressing about 5000 strong clean- politics campaigners drawn from all four Khasi and Jaintia hills districts.
Syiem criticized the MUA government for the various anomalies unearthed by the MRTIM in the past five years.
He went on to state that “As peace-loving people we were taken for a ride by the trend of corruption,” which he said, “was brought about by businessmen who entered into politics.”
He further rued that the trend is to be blamed for the deforestation in mineral rich areas of Jaintia Hills and west Khasi Hills.
“Why is Meghalaya placed at the bottom of the human development index… Had it not that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting worse,” Church leader Rev K Pyrtuh added. He said the campaign is to empower the people of the state with their rights from their respective representatives.
Later, Basaiawmoit told reporters, “We are telling people to elect the right people who will legislate good laws. Our main focus is on upcoming Assembly election in the state”.
“This campaign is like a medicine; suppose you have stomach problem and you need to go to good doctors for treatment and with which all our disease will be cured and this campaign is like medicine we need to clean people. If we have right people in the state legislature and Parliaments then we will not need any specific laws because the interest of the people will be taken care of in a proper way” Ardent explained.
He further informed on the resolution taken on Monday, highlighting which he said “we will continue to campaign to clean Politics and make Meghalaya a corruption free state, organize another such mass rally and target 2013 election to begin with the clean politics”.
Among the clean-politics campaigner who are in the ‘Team Ardent’ are Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) General Secretary Sadon Blah, a number of faculty at the North Eastern Hills University (NEHU) Associate Professors women NGOs and the FKJGP.