Dasakhiatbha Lamare and Mohendro Rapsang, both of the National People’s Party (NPP) filed their nominations today for the upcoming February 27 election.
While Lamare has decided to contest from a new seat, moving from Mawhati in Ri-Bhoi to East Khasi Hills’ Nongkrem, it is a different sort of chance for West Shillong’s Rapsang, who recently left the Congress Party for new colours.
Lamare cited personal reasons and claimed that it is for the betterment of Meghalaya that he switch seats.
“The people are responding very well and I will work day and night to win the election and work hard like I did for Mawhati,” the cabinet minister said.
Coming from the wealthy Dhar family, Lamare was criticised for being completely out of touch with his rural Mawhati constituents by splurging on a super luxury Lamborghini last year.
However, he was at pains to make clear that leaving Mawhati did not mean that he had been rejected by the villagers there. “I want to clarify since I have heard many statements and claims from many individuals and organisations that Dasakhiat has been rejected by Mawhati. That is totally wrong. People there have not rejected me. They are praying for me and are hoping that I will win in Nongkrem. The other candidate who has taken my role in Mawhati is my brother in law,” he stated.
Asked about the money factor in Nongkrem, where he will be up against the incumbent Lambor Malngiang (now with the United Democratic Party) and former MLA Ardent M Basaiawmoit (Voice of the People Party), Lamare stated that it is normal to help the people.
“It is not only one or two candidates who do that (give money). Many are helping their own people,” he said. “To say we are influencing people with money is very wrong. We don’t keep records when we help, we do it according to our limits and as per the needs of the people.”
Meanwhile, Rapsang will be up against the UDP’s Paul Lyngdoh (a former MLA), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Ernest Mawrie and Congress candidate Bethleen Dkhar.
If re-elected, Rapsang said that his aim is to make his constituency better through the Smart City project, for which Rs 5 crore has been sanctioned for his area.
Rapsang added that security has been taken care of and this year the election will be very peaceful. He added that his is the first constituency where CCTV will be connected directly to police stations since it is one of the sensitive areas in the city.
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