Campaigning picks up in Meghalaya

February 21st, 2008 - 10:04 pm ICT by admin  

Shillong, Feb 21 (ANI): Preparations are in full swing in Meghalaya with political parties campaigning vigorously for the upcoming elections.

Elections in three small states of revolt-racked north-east will provide another test for the ruling Congress party, as it seeks to boost its shaky morale ahead of a national poll due next year.

While the States are small and lack political weight nationally, elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland over the next few weeks will give Congress another sign of whether its popularity is falling across the country.

In Meghalaya, the Congress is battling the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) respectively, two major constituents of its Union coalition.

Elections will be held on March 3 and the results will be issued on March 8.

The younger generation, however, believe that there is a need for change in the political system and there is a need of greater involvement of the youth.

“I think every five years it’s the same old story, the same old hypocrisy, the same old politicians. So, I think its time we had a change and every year people say that we need to change the system,” said Deepak Das, a college student.

Rilanglin Kharpuri, another student said the youth have lost faith in elections, as broken promises remain a tradition with the politicians.

“At the end of the day, politicians make promises. Even during campaigns they say its going to be different from the last time but then at the end of it when the results come and they get into power all they think about is themselves. All they want to do is please whomever they know and whomever they love and they forget about their promises, especially the youth,” she said.

Local civil society groups say none of the political parties have offered any realistic proposals to solve decades of insurgency in the north-east or bring the underdeveloped region into the national mainstream.

North-east is encircled by China, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan and is home to more than 200 ethnic and tribal groups. They have been beset by dozens of separatist and tribal insurgencies since India independence.

A series of bigger States, including Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, will hold elections later in the year, while a national election is due by early 2009. (ANI)

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