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Tips for candidates in upcoming Assembly elections

Editor,

Through your esteemed daily, I have a few suggestions for the candidates to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Election 2018. I am not an expert in election strategy, but an ordinary voter who empathises with the candidates who lose sleep about contesting the election since there is no guarantee of a positive outcome.

My first suggestion is that the candidate should not waste time and energy to visit every bereaved family in his/her constituency. Sometimes candidates visit more than three bereaved families a day. Your visit would not bring the dead to life. You may say that you go there to pay your last respects. But the first respect is more important when the voter was alive. As soon as the election is over you could have visited every family in the constituency to enquire about their wellbeing; what they lack and what they need. Enquire whether they have clean water at home or access to affordable healthcare, and what can be done, so that they can live long and vote for you. This will reduce the death rates in your constituency. This will save your time and money as you will not need to visit so many bereaved families in the next election. Secondly, do not give money to the bereaved family because it is an insult to the dead voter as he/she will not get to enjoy the money. He/she will curse you from the grave. Please do not count your votes by the number of bereaved families you had visited, as the other candidates also would have visited the same families.

My second suggestion is do not waste money in organizing tournaments, concerts and picnics just so that the organizers will invite you to speak, dance, laugh etc. This will affect your health and when the time comes for you to speak in the assembly, you instead be spending your time in medical checkups in hospitals and nursing homes. If you do not go to the events, they will think you are just buying them. It is better that you invest the money somewhere else so that you can use it when there is a delay in getting the money for the sanctioned schemes. If you do this the voters will consider you generous, smart and faithful. For those who seek re-election, it is better they use the money to document their achievements and justify their failures. The document can be distributed to all voters. Most of the voters now can read.

My third suggestion is do not inaugurate toilets, footpaths etc now, because it will make you a laughing stock before the voters. They don’t start using toilets, nor start walking only during election time. The voters will think you are coming from outer space and mind you, there is no provision in the Constitution for aliens to contest elections. The opponents too will get a chance to criticize you.

My final suggestion is do not go to church meetings or any religious meetings too frequently during election season. If you think you need to go and worship God, then go as a normal worshipper, sit quietly at the back and pray. God who sees you in secret will reward you in public. Otherwise God will curse you for making yourself an idol in a place where He is worshipped. 

Finally, my plea to all candidates is to please take the above advice seriously. If you don’t win the election this time you will win next time.

Yours etc.,

M Lyndem,

Via email

 

On JNNURM red buses

Editor,

Apropos the front page news item, “Mistake to lease JNNURM buses to private parties: Ronnie”  (ST Nov 8, 2017), I wish to comment that the Urban Affairs Minister, Ronnie Lyngdoh, right told the scribes right from day one when he took over the Dept that he would immediately scrap the deal entered upon by his predecessor and the top officials with the private parties which ran the buses and the maxi-taxis. Lyngdoh had stated that he found  the deal entered upon between the Department and public parties very defective and that it tilted heavily in favour of the latter while leaving the Urban Affairs Department high and dry. Actually the JNNURM buses have benefited the private parties and most buses are now ready to be condemned.

Till date, Ronnie Lyngdoh, the Minister concerned, has done nothing to rectify the anomalies in the agreements made with the private parties which run the JNNURM buses, commonly known as “Red Buses.” Indeed these red buses have got the Urban Affairs Dept running in the red. Yes, in the red because the vehicles earn huge incomes per day but they give peanuts to the Department. Now of course quite a number of buses and maxi-taxis are off the road and are lying somewhere unutilized or in dilapidated condition. This arrangement has enriched only the private parties and some at the helms of affairs in the Department, especially the top officials responsible for crafting the agreement in the beginning. Mr Ronnie Lyngdoh knew the ins and outs of this arrangement while he was not a minister and had questioned the anomalies in the agreement during one of the meetings where this issue was discussed.

What is urgently needed to end the mess is for the Minister to scrap the former deals (agreements) and make new ones by inserting strict conditions in them to benefit the government and the private parties equally by increasing the rent/lease by double or even triple per day. The other option is to hand over the buses to some other parties with fresh rational agreements. It is a proven fact that Government cannot do business and in fact the JNNURM buses were earlier handed over to the MTC for operation but because of some disagreements and logistical problems the MTC refused to run the buses. But this does not mean that Govt should do a bad deal! 

Yours etc.,

Philip Marwein,

Via email

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