SHILLONG, JAN 24: The Voice of the People Party (VPP) on Tuesday released the third list of two candidates for the upcoming assembly elections, to be held on February 27.
These include G Phailin Nongrum from Sohra and Bobby Kharshandi from Nongstoin, VPP spokesperson Dr Batskhem Myrboh said in a statement here.
Altogether, 18 candidates have been declared by the party so far.
Voice of the People Party (VPP) president Ardent Basaiawmoit said there is a connivance between the Centre and state governments to delay the implementation of the inner line permit (ILP).
Basaiawmoit said he also doesn’t see any seriousness on the part of the political leaders of the state to implement the ILP despite passing an official resolution in 2019.
He said ILP will be included in the party’s manifesto and added that the situation is different where the present government has not only failed but has created a situation where it is not easy to get ILP.
“So what we need to do now is we need to first challenge the presidential order whereby they removed the word Khasi-Jaintia from the preamble. Is it constitutional on the part of the central government to adopt or change any law after the expiry of three years of the commencement of the constitution of India? That has to be looked into,” he said.
The VPP president also assured to undo the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Meghalaya and Assam to resolve six out of the twelve areas of difference.
“The border agreement is against the wishes, the sentiment, and the expectation of the people. We have mentioned that we are not accepting the decision of the MDA government. We will definitely undo it (MoU),” he said.
Basaiawmoit said all the political parties including those in the present MDA government have failed the people of the state miserably.
“Had it been that the performance of this present government is satisfactory, we would not have come up with this new political party? Therefore, we decided to launch this new political party because all the political parties, not only the political parties in this dispensation but even the old parties that have governed the state for a number of years have failed the people of the state miserably,” he said.
“This issue is very sensitive. We don’t want to handle it carelessly. We just want to tell you that it will be included in the manifesto of the party that when it is voted to power we will definitely review and relook at the policy because reservation policy is not a simple policy,” he said.
“We need to do some research work, we need to compare and we need to understand the true meaning of reservation before we come up with any decision so we will be constituting an expert committee if we are voted to power and the expert committee will dwell on this issue, will carry out some research work so that a policy that is going to come is not discriminatory,” he added.
Basaiawmoit said that the party will push for the inclusion of Meghalaya under Article 371 because it is a shield to protect the rights of the indigenous people including the resources of the state.
“Article 371 will be included in our manifesto. I don’t need to spell out this Article – we know it is far better, it is like a shield, it is the only shield compared to any other mechanism that we would love to ask from the government,” he said.
The VPP president said that he never supported the demand for the creation of a separate Khasi-Jaintia state when he was heading the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) as its president.
“You are wrong. I may be in the party but in principle, I have not agreed which is why during our time the demand for the separation of the Khasi-Jaintia state is not reflected as a priority of the party,” he said while explaining that “the reason because we believe that creation of a separate state is not a solution. We need to ask why we have to demand the government a separate state. There must be some valid reasons so according to us we don’t see that creation of a separate state will be a solution for the problems of the Khasi people.”
On the state reservation policy, Basaiawmoit assured to constitute an expert committee to review the reservation policy if the party is voted to power in the state.