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Greenhorn who gave Ronnie a run for money in Mylliem

Aibandaplin F. Lyngdoh, a young leader and a descendant of Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, had been leading the race on March 2, the day of counting the votes. However, when the verdict came out, she was a close second.

“All of us, including my supporters, were waiting eagerly and when they heard that I did not win, we were surprised. I was leading all throughout and suddenly someone else wins,” Aibandaplin told Meghalaya Monitor at her residence in Lawsohtun on Sunday.


Aibandaplin was VPP’s candidate from Mylliem. Despite being a greenhorn in politics, she was popular among the electorate in several pockets in the constituency. Congress’s Ronnie V. Lyngdoh won the seat with 8,904 votes and a wafer-thin margin of 38.

The 32-year-old VPP leader said she joined the party because of its ideology and the leadership of Ardent Basaiawmoit. “Bah Ardent is my hero. The party believes in clean politics,” she said.

However, campaigning in the constituency was not an easy task for Aibandaplin, who realised how, over the years, big political parties and wily politicians have corrupted the minds of the electorate. Money, she said, played an important role for a large section of voters who would be blatant about selling their votes for a few thousands of rupees.

VPP, which was formed last year after Basaiawmoit came out of HSPDP, has been harping on clean politics and corruption-free governance. The party had fielded 18 candidates, most of whom were from Khasi Hills, and won four seats.

“Initially, some people told me that they would not vote for me if I did not give money. I started working last February and went door to door to explain to voters my agenda. In the last two to three months, people came out in my support because I could explain to them VPP’s agenda and mine too for the constituency in particular,” she said.

One of the main agenda of Aibandaplin was agri-centric as the constituency has a large number of farmers, including organic farmers. Education was another area of focus as the candidate realised that “most of the voters are illiterate and it is the reason why they do not understand politics and about their rights”.

“I visited the interiors of Mylliem and saw how poor people are. Illiteracy is rampant. It is really hard to make them understand the right issues. I feel so bad to think that these people are still in the darkness. So, I will continue to work with VPP because this party, unlike any other, has a strong base. Its leaders are not swept away by the lure of power or money,” she added.

According to her, it is not politics that is dirty but it is the people who make it murky for their benefits.

Aibandaplin wants a recounting of votes and has approached the chief electoral officer.

~ Team Meghalaya Monitor

(Also read: Let’s put the lens on constituency)

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