Remove all that is rotten and usher in a new era for Meghalaya – that is no small promise but that is exactly what the Voice of the People Party (VPP) pledged at its public meeting here today where it introduced its candidates and laid out its plan for the state after the upcoming elections.
The VPP was created in 2021 by former Nongkrem MLA Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit.
Prior to today, he was the only one of its candidates to have prior experience of being in the Assembly. Joining the party today was North Shillong MLA Adelbert Nongrum, who dramatically went down on his knees to pray in front of the gathering.
He was announced as the VPP candidate for North Shillong, while Mayborn Lyngdoh, who rose to prominence last year during teacher protests, was also inducted into the party.
Basaiawmoit said the need of this gathering was to answer those who look down on the VPP for not having the finances required to contest elections.
“I’m sure you all agree with the leaders of the VPP that all parties in the state, especially the regional parties, have failed the people miserably,” Basaiawmoit said. “Therefore we felt the need, as a group of concerned citizens, to save the state from further decline and deterioration, we were left with no option but to launch a new political party.”
He explained that the VPP’s vision is to revive, restore and transform Meghalaya, ensure good governance, clean politics, peace and tranquillity.
Clean politics for the party means zero tolerance towards corruption, no more nepotism in the process of supplying work to contractors and suppliers and protection of the District Selection Committee and Meghalaya Public Service Commission and others from political interference.
Those who have looted the state in previous years will also be punished, Basaiawmoit promised.
Nongrum said that the government cannot keep fooling the people by saying that there is no illegal mining when dead bodies are being retrieved from illegal coal mines in Jaiñtia Hills. He added that the state government has turned out to be money makers for themselves.
Stating that it was necessary and not a drama, the former KHNAM MLA got down on his knees and began praying seeking for his late father’s forgiveness.
Candidate for East Shillong, Avner Pariat, who will be up against sitting MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh, said that 50 years have come and gone but there is zero change in society. “They (current MLAs) are useless. They have not done anything in the past few decades. We must question our politicians and not put them on a pedestal,” Pariat said.
Stating his vision for his constituency, Pariat said that the youth can and should be stakeholders in society. He said, “Many crorepati parties say they want the youth to rise but when it comes down to having a say they’re not interested. For the young, I want to say that if they will not give then we will take.”