The defeat of the NPP candidate in the recent election in Sohiong constituency is unprecedented because it is not quite often that the candidate of the ruling party in majority loses in a deferred or by-election. The NPP has used all its might and tricks, comedy, intimidation, etc but failed.
The message is clear. The NPP combined with the poor quality of their candidates does not enjoy the confidence of the majority of people, certainly not in Khasi Hills. Their leaders have displayed overconfidence and used the tone of intimidation during their election campaign in the entire constituency and people taught them a befitting lesson.
Public wisdom cannot be taken for granted and when the public decides, all calculations of the political parties will fail. It is indeed a warning sign for the MDA-2 government led by NPP not to take the public for a ride.
A case in point is also the inordinate delay in the discussion on roster system and the review of the State Reservation Policy as demanded by Voice of the People Party (VPP) and others.
Although the State cabinet has discussed the Roster System on the 17th of May and will be discussed again in the All-Party Meeting slated for the 19th of May, the crisis is far from over. The movement against the retrospective implementation of the Roster System and for the review of the State Reservation Policy of 1972, led by VPP is gaining momentum.
I do hope that the government will take timely and appropriate decision and not wait for the movement to take an epic proportion and blown into a full scale public anger, particularly in Khasi and Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi areas, against the government which is going to be detrimental for peace and tranquility in the State.
The Roster System is not a rocket science and can be made comprehensible in tabular form. Starting May 26, 2022, the day the Roster System was notified in the Gazette of Meghalaya, a brand new and fresh model roster of 100/200/500/etc points (each point representing a post) showing the points to be reserved for different categories to be appointed by direct recruitment to posts and services in the State of Meghalaya should be for all future posts and not retrospectively.
Point 1 (first vacant post) can start with the reserved or unreserved category followed by point 2 (second vacant post) and so on based on the Reservation Policy under implementation. Similarly, it can be done for promotions. I wish and pray that our elected representatives are well-prepared so that no one can take them for a ride.
While the demand of VPP and others to stop all appointments pending the correction in the date of implementation of the new Roster System is justified, it is equally important that any loss of posts under Khasi-Jaintia quota owing to faulty implementation of the Roster System retrospectively ‘starting May 10 (Date of Office Memorandum) or May 26 (Date of notification in the Gazette of Meghalaya) 2022 till date’ have to be proportionately compensated in all future recruitments as per the roster to be made prospectively.
Dear elected representatives, particularly of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi areas, the future of the majority of the youth of Meghalaya is in your hands. Beware, this is not 1972 and we are watching!
(The writer is a Professor in the Cancer & Radiation Countermeasures Unit, Department of Biochemistry, North Eastern Hill University)
Leave a Reply