The HSPDP’s convoluted defense of coal mining

HSPDP is a coalition partner in the current Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government and opposition to power should be attributed to all coalition partners including NPP, UDP, PDF and the HSPDP. None of the coalition partners can wash their hands of an act of bad governance over the past four years. Some political parties that have not received a share of the spoils of illegal coal mining might find the burden of four years of illegal trade something they might have to explain to their constituents but especially to their political rivals. It is learned that 2023 will find many young, articulate, conscious and principled candidates in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly who wish to contest not to win but to educate the masses about the venality of using money to buy votes and how it brings the state to the doldrums. This will be an election to watch as it will no longer be business as usual for the old-timers who have become too comfortable in their seats and their bluster in the Assembly. Their behavior reeks of arrogance and an indifferent attitude and an assurance that nothing and no one can defeat them.
The question that these young pretenders raise is: if a set of people want to serve the voters as they proclaim, then why are they spending millions of rupees and where do these millions of rupees come from if not public funds because the political parties in Meghalaya do not mobilize registration drives where registrants pay their annual fees. Moreover, these new candidates raise many pertinent questions about the pace of development and where most development funds go. They are not there just to occupy the seat of power, but have the desire to bring about change. Whether or not this change is possible depends on their ability to mobilize public opinion and bring about a change in behavior among voters. And therein lies the problem. Voters have been pampered and waiting for their pound of flesh because they do not reason that their every vote depends on the fate of Meghalaya and its people and their future.
The HSPDP may not be involved in illegal coal mining, but it is essentially a political party based in West Khasi Hills, where coal is regularly mined and transported. They are therefore accomplices by the very fact that they say nothing about this embezzlement and continue to turn a blind eye to this illegality which has caused several deaths by the very nature of the exploitation of rat holes which goes against the MMDR Act of 1957 which the Supreme Court unequivocally stated that Meghalaya should follow.

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