‘Khonglam the Chief Minister who dared to take bold decisions’
By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Former Chief Minister Dr Flinder Anderson Khonglam was laid to rest in a simple funeral here on Friday.
Besides prominent politicians, people from all walks of life attended the funeral service at the residence of late Dr Khonglam mother in Malki and bade him a tearful adieu before his mortal remains were cremated at the graveyard of the Malki Dorbar Shnong.
The two Deputy Chief Ministers – Bindo M Lanong and Rowell Lyngdoh, HSPDP supremo Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, Social Welfare Minister JA Lyngdoh, Additional Chief Secretary PBO Warjri were among the prominent dignitaries who were present during the funeral service.
Those who spoke during the funeral service recalled Dr Khonglam’s contributions to the State’s politics and called him a dynamic politician.
While recalling his stint as the Chief Minister of the State, speakers also said that as Chief Minister, Dr Khonglam was known to take quick and tough decisions despite being fully aware that he would be severely criticized by his cabinet colleagues and coalition partners.
Deputy Chief Minister Bindo M Lanong said there were some tough decisions which Khonglam had taken as the Chief Minister which others may not have dared to.
“There are records in the Government which suggest that the former Chief Minister had taken tough decisions which may not have gone down well with many people in the Government. Khonglam was fully aware that he would not be able to satisfy everybody so he ended up taking hard but correct decisions,” Lanong said.
“It was this character of Dr Khonglam which made him become the Chief Minister of the State though he was an Independent legislator,” Lanong complimented.
Dr Khonglam who led the Peoples’ Forum of Meghalaya (PFM) coalition government from December 8, 2001 to March 4, 2003 as Chief Minister had created history for Meghalaya and the whole of India as he was the first Independent legislator in the country who had occupied the Chief Minister’s post.
Others who spoke on the occasion included HSPDP general secretary Enbin K Raswai and Sohra legislator Dr PW Khongjee.
Dr Khonglam, who was the HSPDP vice president and the party’s president in East Khasi Hills district was a physician by profession and had been in electoral politics since 1983.
He successfully contested the Assembly election in 1983 from Sohra constituency but lost in 1988. He again returned to the State Assembly from the same constituency for three consecutive terms, twice as an independent candidate.
In 2003, he won on HSPDP ticket but lost the 2008 assembly elections to Congress nominee Dr PW Khongjee, also a physician.
The former Chief Minister who also represented Sohra constituency as member of the KHADC associated with the NCP before joining HSPDP.