Regional party stalwart and former deputy chief minister of the State, Standlington David Khongwir passed away today after a brief illness at NEIGRIHMS hospital here. He was 90.
The funeral service will be held at his residence at Mawlai Nonglum opposite to the Weiking Ground on November 24 at 2 pm and his mortal remains will be buried at the cemetery of Mawlai Presbyterian Church.
Married to the late Harlismon Tariang, Khongwir has four children – Dr. Alva Tariang, late Raymond Tariang, Weishavina Tariang and Arshavina Tariang and 14 grandchildren.
Khongwir was the MLA of Mawlai constituency for 25 years consecutively till he voluntarily retired in 1998.
Born in 1934, Khongwir won his first election as an independent candidate in 1972 after Meghalaya got its statehood. From 1978 to 1983 he contested the polls on the HSPDP ticket. Later he joined the Hill People Union (HPU) and won on its ticket from 1988 to 1993.
Khongwir held the position of deputy chief minister in the governments led by Darwin Diengdoh Pugh and Brington Buhai Lyngdoh and handled finance and other major portfolios. He was also the chairman of the State Planning Board.
He was instrumental in the formation of the Meghalaya Forum of ex-MLAs of which he is the president.
Besides his long political career, Khongwir also held the post of Rangbah Shnong of Mawlai Nonglum for 55 years consecutively since 1968. He was also elected as president of Mawlai Town Dorbar in 1988.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today visited Khongwir’s residence at Mawlai Nonglum to pay his last respect.
Speaking to media persons, Sangma said that Khongwir had made significant contributions to his constituency and the State as a whole.
“I have had the opportunity to interact, meet and work with him in the past. Even when he was the Rangbah Shnong we have had a couple meetings. So, I really have a lot of chances to learn from him, to interact and discuss with him in so many things,” Sangma added.
Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Thomas A. Sangma in a condolence message said that Khongwir will be remembered for his role in the Hill State movement and for his dedication and service to the people.
“He left an indelible mark in all the offices that he holds. A true statesman, he leaves behind a legacy that will inspire generations,” the Speaker said.