Sohiong registers over 91% voter turnout

Sohiong registers over 91% voter turnout

SHILLONG, MAY 10:  91.87 percent of 34,783 voters exercised their franchise during the Sohiong Assembly election held on Wednesday.

There has been no report of any untoward incidents, CEO FR Kharkongor told reporters.

He said the constituency has witnessed an increase of voters’ turnout in this election.

 “This time the voters’ turnout was 91.87 percent compared to 90.40 percent in the last election in 2018,” he said.

Further, the CEO informed that no malfunction of voting machines was reported during the voting, except during the mock poll in the morning and the machines were promptly replaced.

He said 60 percent webcasting was also done in the constituency and a model polling station was also set up at Nongpathaw which had a unique initiative of cast your vote and plant a tree which was actively participated by young and first time voters.

Five companies of CAPF were deployed across the constituency to ensure law and order is maintained.

There are eight non-bailable warrants of arrest which were pending and all have been executed, besides 62 people who were identified as troublemakers.

He also mentioned that they had a robust arrangement of police personnel deployed at the constituency on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, counting will be held on May 13.

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Mondal assures to take up demand for new C&RD block for Umdohlun-Wahkaji  before Cabinet

HYC slams Govt for spending over Rs 4 crore on non-performing bodies

SHILLONG, MAY 10: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and traditional heads on Wednesday demanded the immediate creation of a new C&RD Block in South West Khasi Hills District.

A delegation led by the KSU South West Khasi Hills District and traditional chiefs of over 44 villages of the Umdohlun-Wahkaji area also met and submitted a reminder letter to the Minister in-charge Community and Rural Development AT Mondal, requesting his immediate intervention into the matter.

After the meeting, KSU-SWKH president Forwardman Nongrem said, “We have requested the government through the minister to consider this long pending demand of the people of 44 villages for the creation of a new C&RD Block either at Umdohlun or Wahkaji.”

“The minister has assured the delegation to take up the proposal before the cabinet for its decision,” he added.

When asked, Nongrem admitted that the government should live up to its commitment to bring administration closer to the people.

“We have seen many times that the chief minister has stated that the government is a government of the people. Therefore, we feel it is high time for the government to consider this demand of the people of these 44 villages because a C&RD block is the only realistic way to bring the people closer to the government,” he said.

Nongrem said at present some of these villages are falling under the Mawkyrwat Block and some under the Ranikor block.

According to him, some of these villages are situated in the remotest areas of the district and people have to travel long distances about 60 kms and more while some have to walk on foot for over 3-4 hours to reach Mawkyrwat and Ranikor block offices.

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Paul says  there is no relationship stain with NPP due to Sohiong poll

Paul says there is no relationship stain with NPP due to Sohiong poll

SHILLONG, MAY 10: United Democratic Party leader Paul Lyngdoh on Wednesday said the adjourned election in Sohiong Assembly constituency will not strain the relationship of his party and the National People’s Party (NPP).

Speaking to reporters, Lyngdoh said, “No, I don’t see any strain in any case. This was an election which was supposed to be held along with the rest of the constituencies. So it is just a matter of accident that we lost our candidate at that point of time but the fact is that we could form a government it has just been two months plus today so I don’t see even the need to mention that word strain.”

When asked, Lyngdoh said that the verdict of 2023 has to be respected.

“That verdict gave NPP 26 constituencies which is why they could not form a government on their own and that same verdict gave the UDP 11 seats and it is a verdict when you analyse the election results, you have to analyse it sector wise. So the Garo sector voted mainly in favour of NPP and the Khasi-Jaintia sector voted mainly for a regional party, the UDP with 11 seats. So when you combine the two sectors then the MDA 2 came into existence.”

Asked if NPP has approached the UDP for merger, the UDP leader said, “Even the UDP can also approach the NPP to merge with us. Where is the harm? Let them merge with us why should we merge with them.”

He added, “I am not aware of such move. A lot of things will be said in election platforms and more so when there is just one election for one constituency so you have lots and lots of speakers so obviously when you have 20 speakers in one platform they will all want to say something fresh, something that will attract the attention of the media.”

He also expressed confidence to win the Sohiong seat. “We are comfortable as a party because in the last House we had 6 MLAs. This time if we manage Sohiong we will double the tally. It will be a 50% increase in the tally of the UDP. We have a very fair chance but obviously the people’s mandate will be known on May 13.”

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Hek never requested me to join BJP: Mukul Sangma

Hek never requested me to join BJP: Mukul Sangma

SHILLONG, MAY 10: Opposition AITC leader and former chief minister Mukul Sangma on Wednesday denied having any discussion with BJP leader and cabinet minister AL Hek about a possible merger with the saffron party.

Speaking to reporters, Sangma said that he had tea with Hek on March 3, a day after the 2023 election results were declared.

“AL Hek is a very good friend of mine. We have worked together for a very long time. He was in Congress while we were in Congress. He was in the council of ministers when I was the CM. So you have seen this long association and the good thing is that he wanted to meet me on March 3 morning, so we had tea and we congratulated each other but he was in a hurry to go to his meeting but he told me one thing he said that he was not happy with the outcome of the whole election results obviously because BJP also went hammer and tongs to see that they win as many seats as available,” he said.

“That’s the time when I met him (Hek) but he didn’t say that I should join BJP or anything. He only said that please do something to see that this government doesn’t come back,” Sangma said.

He added, “And I said we are doing it precisely and then you saw on March 3 we tried to come together, it is a different thing we could not give fruition to our whole collective effort because I have said the overall development that you saw after all these members of these different political parties converged in one particular place, a meeting to that agenda giving an alternative, viable, pro people and the most wanted alternative government to the people.”

The former chief minister said that he has reasons to believe that this story about him and his party merging with the BJP is also connected with the ongoing election in Sohiong constituency.

“Is it an attempt to actually divert the narrative, the narrative which should be focused on very serious and important issues confronting the people and the state? Has somebody attempted and successfully utilized some friends from the media? You have to be more analytical. That is why I say that the moment you have these stories coming as a part of somebody’s speculation, we are always available. Please get connected and get from the horse’s mouth,” he said.

He said that it is natural for every political party to strategize for themselves, the former leader of opposition. “We are doing the same. We would also like other MLAs to join us and merge with our party. We welcome our friends who would decide by joining with TMC, we can aggregate our strength together and work together. I think the state today needs unification and the coming together of all political parties. I have tried this along with my colleagues, along with my party functionaries including some of the leaders of some political parties even after the election results were declared.”

Meanwhile, Sangma said that the AITC legislators are committed to protect the interest of the people and the state.

“We have taken resolve with utmost sense of sincerity that under any circumstances we will not allow anybody to take the interest of the people and the state for granted,” he said. According to him, many things will be unfolding in the coming days and that the AITC will take the government head on.

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