As all political parties await the announcement of the election date by the Election Commissioner of India for the 17th Lok Sabha, the Opposition parties are teaming up to oust the Ruling government as is seen in any other election, hence the formation of the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance), a coalition of political parties attempting to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party from coming back to power at the centre in the 2019 General Lok Sabha elections. The Indian National Congress, meanwhile, has unveiled its trump card by luring in Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into active politics.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on January 23, 2019 pushed his sister Priyanka Gandhi into taking the plunge into active politics by appointing her as the party General Secretary in charge of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Jotiraditya Scindia as General Secretary of Western Uttar Pradesh, where the SP-BSP alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls has pushed the Congress to the corner.
However Rahul is not confirming if Priyanka will take the place of Sonia Gandhi and throw her hat into the battle field, saying it is up to her (Priyanka), but meanwhile the party is hopeful that she is a potent campaigner who can make a difference to the Congress.
As BJP seeks a second term for Narendra Damodardas Modi as the Prime Minister, the Mahagathbandhan refused to name any leader, including Rahul’s name which is not in the race but has rather left it to the results, where the individual party which secures the maximum Members of Parliament will elect a leader as the Prime Ministerial candidate.
While, the political parties are still busy scouting for candidate; the point to ponder here is once again all eligible citizens will be exercising their franchises. Traditionally, this is the time to seek the progress reports of the elected members.
The 47 year old Meghalaya too will be participating to elect the 17th Lok Sabha along with the rest of the nation. While on ground zero it is pathetic in spite of both the Member of Parliaments from Tura and Shillong in Meghalaya.
The developmental works of the 47 year old state are a sorry affair with the state still striving for proper road communication and proper health care. Out of 31 water sources for drinking water, 28 of them are not drinkable, the existing airports, one in Tura and the other in Umroi are just white elephants, and the railhead is yet to reach the state capital.
The employment figures are increasing year after year yet most of the human resources from the rural areas remain untapped for building up our state. The list will go on; it is futile to speak on the omissions of the state government to lure Central Schemes and projects, because they are voted to power by the masses. The people choose, hence we have to claim responsibility for the failure to develop our state.
Meghalaya will soon turn 50 and the question here is, do we have anything to boast about on the Golden Jubilee year? Why not take advantage of the upcoming Lok Sabha election by preparing the mandate of the masses and see which candidate can deliver, let us not waste yet another golden opportunity to change Meghalaya.
The state is not even taking full advantage of getting a face lift for the upcoming 39th National Games in 2022, the state is the host as the Games Village is yet to be finalized and one can imagine the quality of the Games Village if it is constructed at the eleventh hour.
Meghalaya too should be pro-active like the rest of the states for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, not only in projecting the candidates, but involving the grass roots, the youth and the so called elite society, being the main watchdogs of the government in the state, will keep raising issues and demands throughout the five year term for both the Assembly and Parliament, but as the time for action arises, like the election, considered as the time for them to make decision by casting their vote, this very same section of the society will not act but expect others to do so.
It is time for all to practice what they have been preaching. It is futile for the intellectual section of the society to just end their discussion in sitting rooms and seminars, action should be implemented.
It may be too late to advocate for more women and youth to join politics and make the change. But we should start now to create awareness, and prepare this section of society for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.