Voice of the People Party (VPP) president and Nongkrem legislator, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, on May 23, accused the state government of trying to downplay the apprehensions of the people over the reservation policy.
He remarked, “Do you believe the High Court is unaware of the percentage set aside for Meghalaya?” varying tribal states in the North East have varied reservations, some of which exceed 50%. All of this is a facade they are trying to portray.
He claimed that if they go to court, they will win, but on the other hand, it will have an impact on the Garo people, turning it into a legal matter instead of the political one that would be just and fair for all communities.
Similarly, he said that to liken the issue in the state to that in Manipur and Kashmir is absurd and meaningless. Comparing Meghalaya to other states that have experienced violence is pointless due to the fact that here interactions and agreements are still on the table.
Further, he said, “The government has not updated us on what they have done in on our demands, our agitation will continue until we get a response. The people in power should be competent determine the ratio in accordance with the state’s population because they are adults and not infants.”
He also rebuked claims that his indefinite hunger strike was nothing but a political stunt to gain people’s support ahead of the district council elections next year.
“Election (assembly) was just over but what is sad is that the NPP leaders don’t see anything beyond elections,” he said.
Asserting that the party is far-sighted, he said, “We look far away – 50 years ahead – for us, this is not a political stunt. Others are just looking for an excuse because for them, the concerns of the public don’t matter. I repeat – this is not an election issue but an issue that concerns our youth.”