I would like to bring to light the character played by our leaders and their behavioural conduct towards the people of our State as the term of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly comes to an end. It is ironic to see the dual character played by our public representative when they highlight themselves frequently as saviours of the system and that too at a time that warrants them to go back to the people to submit their report cards of their deeds. Of course it has never happened that an elected MLA is accountable to the people nor that the people rate their representative performances based on the actual work on the ground.
Recently we have seen many statements given by the East Shillong MLA who is also the chairperson of the Assembly committee on women empowerment especially on atrocities to women who in our beloved state holds the most important aspect being a matrilineal State which firstly can be corroborated from the news item from the 3rd of October “Assembly committee concerned over rising crime against women in the state” in which she commented from the committee with regards to the gruesome murder of a 19-year-old girl who was allegedly killed by her husband that took place at Iew Mawlong in Ri-Bhoi district in which she states and I quote “Something is not going right and I think after elections I would like to see communities and societies around us contributing to the safety of women” and also “stressing on the need to have an action plan and make it operational at the earliest”.
The question arises why wait until after the election to act on a matter as heinous as this and what has she been doing as a three term MLA? She also raised her concerned on the murder of two infants in Nongrah area whereby she keenly took interest as it is well known that her sister is supposedly to contest the Nongthymmai seat from the NPP but it is strange to see the same representative be silent all the while when contractual teachers were fired with tear gas by the police in the recently concluded agitation in which mostly women and children were affected by such action.
Another instance of duplicity can be ascertained from the write ups that appeared in this newspaper on the problems faced by the constituents of east Shillong. Water scarcity has been the number one issue for the people of Laitumkhrah and adjoining areas for the last so many years and the incumbent MLA has also held the portfolio of urban affairs and municipality and under her command not much was seen to address the issue and surprisingly she seem to be raising this concern only now when election is just round the corner.
A citizen had also flagged in this column on the manner in which pipeline is laid via drains and when leakages occur drain water enters the pipes and contaminated water is mixed along. The representative was also seen carrying a bottle of turbid water in the autumn session of the Assembly last year just to pacify the electorates that she is taking up the issue.
Another issue that bewildered the constituents of East Shillong Constituency, Malki in particular, is the scarcity of water. It is well known from time immemorial that Malki is blessed with its own source of fresh and clean drinking water from the catchment area of ïng Um from the source of Wah Risa constructed during the British Raj and as a matter of fact it was once upon a time a water supplier to the Shillong town in the bygone days, but sadly the constituents of Malki are now facing water shortages on a daily basis, and the fresh and clean water they once enjoyed it seems now has been diverted to God knows where and the water they now consume it seems is of the GSWSS from Mawphlang which is turbid and oily.
As a representative she is also amongst the least performing and every now and then she is only heard of raising concern but has never come forward to address the issue of the people that look up to her for solutions as their representative. If a public representative will only raise concern then who will actually address and bring solution to people’s aspiration?
At the first half of 2021, if all can remember the commercial vehicles were off the road to strike on fuel hike and the same representative was spotted walking from home towards old assembly building to attend the business advisory committee as a mark of solidarity to the agitating cabbies but we have never heard the representative taking the same yardstick to walk on protest on the failed STPS red buses that are laying dumped in various parts of the city due to failed management that took place during her tenure as the urban minister. People of the State and the city in particular are being deprived of affordable means of transport due to lack of efficient public transportation system and had the representative been stern such failures could have been avoided.
Another failure on her part as a representative of a constituency which is at the heart of the city is the ongoing chaotic traffic congestion, given that her constituency is the hub of education and trade, traffic congestion badly disrupt the coming and going of people, and let’s not forget it also affects the livelihood of cabbies where figuratively speaking instead of getting ten trips a day but would only have to settle for five. Where is the outcry? Where is the action plan for this issue?
And lest we all forget the famous education scam that she remains charge-sheeted by the CBI court that has ruined the careers of many aspiring teachers and the loss of jobs to those who were termed as tainted. We barely hear her raising concern on the rise of unemployed youths in the state, the lack of job creation by the State when even as a minister in the previous Congress-led government or now as a suspended legislator of the grand old party.
Lastly, coming back to the grand old party, it is amusing to see this suspended member’s latest criticism of the recently held Congress presidential election, what interests does she have on the internal affairs of a party she backstabbed for sole political gain? Her audacity to bite the hand that fed her is preposterous, but what can we expect from a representative who takes cheap shots for mere publicity stunts? It will be worth watching her next move in jumping ship to seek greener pastures for herself while the constituency as a whole will be left in doldrums as usual.
It is up to the wisdom of the right thinkers to keep watch on such duplicity of elected public representatives as they do not do what they speak and speak what they do not intend to do.