Shillong: Despite the chilly weather, supporters and locals turned out in droves for a public meeting organized by the Voice of the People Party (VPP) on Monday at the Polo Ground. The event drew a diverse crowd from villages across the Khasi region.

During the meeting, the VPP announced the addition of two new candidates for the upcoming Assembly Elections. Former MLA Adelbert Nongrum and Mayborn Lyngdoh officially joined the party and were added to the list of candidates for the 2023 elections. The party had previously announced a list of 14 candidates, bringing the total number of VPP candidates for the upcoming election to 16.

The Voice of the People Party is gearing up for a strong campaign in the upcoming Assembly Elections and the addition of these two experienced politicians is expected to boost their chances. With the election fever rising, the people of Shillong are looking forward to a competitive and engaging campaign.

The party, which was formed last year and consists of members from diverse backgrounds including teachers and professors, has faced criticism that they lack the financial resources to run a successful campaign.

During the meeting, VPP President Ardent Basiawmoit addressed these concerns, stating that the party was formed with the goal of providing an alternative to the traditional political establishment. He emphasized that the party is not dependent on financial resources and that the support of the people is more important than money.

Ardent Basiawmoit stated that the meeting was called to inform the people of the state about the party’s goal and mission.

During the meeting, Basiawmoit explained that the VPP was formed out of a sense of concern for the state and its people. He said that all the existing parties, especially the regional parties, have failed to serve the people effectively and that the state is in a state of decline and deterioration. He added that as a group of concerned citizens, they felt the need to launch a new political party to provide an alternative to the existing political establishment.

VPP President Basiawmoit outlined the party’s goals, which include reviving, restoring and transforming Meghalaya. through good governance and clean politics.

During the meeting, Basiawmoit emphasized the party’s commitment to ensuring peace and tranquillity in the state if they are voted to power. He also outlined the party’s stance on corruption and nepotism, saying that they have zero tolerance for such practices and that they will ensure fairness and transparency at every level.

Basiawmoit also assured that the party would work to free important bodies like the District Selection Committee (DSC), Meghalaya Public Service Commission (MPSC), and others from political interference. He emphasized that “clean politics means more governance and less politicking.”

The VPP president also promised to bring those who have looted the state to justice.

He also clarified that the VPP is not a party only for the Khasis, but a regional party that will protect the constitutional rights of all people residing in the state, regardless of caste, creed, and religion.

Former KHNAM MLA Adelbert Nongrum, who was also announced as the new candidate for VPP, criticized the current government for their handling of illegal mining in the state. He said that the government can’t keep fooling the people by saying that there is no illegal mining, while dead bodies are being retrieved from the illegal coal mines of Jaintia Hills. Nongrum also accused the MDA government of making several promises to the people of the state but instead turning out to be money-makers.

“I have never changed my stance. I have always stood by what I have promised. If the situation compels me to change my principle, I will quit everything, even politics,” said Nongrum.

He went on to say that it was necessary and not a drama. The former KHNAM MLA got down on his knees and began praying, seeking forgiveness from his late father. “I was innocent when I got into politics and I seek your forgiveness for the words I have used and threatened you. I don’t want to be misled or mislead others and I still hold dear to what you said that in politics, you don’t always need to do good things, but the right thing,” prayed Nongrum.

East Shillong Constituency candidate Avner Pariat, who will be up against NPP MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh, also spoke at the meeting. He said that 50 years have come and gone and there is zero change in society yet many of us still feel that we should elect the same people because we feel we know them.

“Yes, we know them and that they are useless. They have not done anything in the past few decades. We must question our politicians and not put them on a pedestal,” said Pariat.

He went on to state his vision for his constituency and the state, saying that the youth can and should be stakeholders in society. He said, “If power has to be shared, many crorepati parties want the youth to rise but when it comes down to having a say, they’re not interested. For the young, I want to say that if they will not give, then we will take.”

Pariat added that they have many young people with innovative ideas who can lead the state forward, but their voices are always suppressed. He explained that for this reason, he along with his team joined VPP.

“Till now, we have had a good relationship and leaders have been quick to bring young people on board. So, there is only one option for 2023 and that’s VPP,” mentioned Pariat.

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