SHILLONG: Four-time MDC of Nonthymmai constituency, Latiplang Kharkongor on Friday was elected as the new chief executive member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC).
Kharkongor also became the first Independent member to lead a coalition in the KHADC. The new EC is being formed by the United Democratic Forum (UDF) which comprised of the Congress, National People’s Party (NPP), People’s Democratic Front (PDF) and Independents.
The election was necessitated following the collapsed of the United Democratic Party (UDP)-led United Democratic Alliance (UDA) executive committee in a No-condifence vote on November 20.
However, the UDA members also skipped the election to the post of the CEM.
Although the former KHADC chief Teinwell Dkhar submitted a letter informing about his decision to withdraw his candidature, the Chairman of the Council Pynshngain N Syiem went ahead to conduct the election.
Syiem informed the House that he has received Teinwell’s letter but he decided not to accept it because as per rule, withdrawal of candidature should be informed before the commencement of the election.
The Chairman, who earlier voted in favour of No-trust motion, however was among the 15 MDCs who casted their votes during the election as he cited that he is exercising his rights as an elected member of Mawkhar-Pynthorumkhrah constituency.
After counting of votes, Syiem declared Latiplang Kharkongor elected as the new KHADC chief. He announced that Latiplang has polled 15 votes while Teinwell got nil.
Participating in the felicitation ceremony, the Chairman congratulated Kharkongor by saying that it is for the first time in the history of the Council that CEM was elected by winning 15-0.
He also urged the members of the House to stick to the rules unlike the others who feels that they are protected by those at the helms of affairs (ministers).
“It is disheartening to see that there is a move to impose the administrator’s rule in the Council. I have not violated any rules and nobody can attempt to wrongly advice the Governor on this. I will not go by convention but I will stick to the rules and Kharkongor deserved to be elected as CEM,” Syiem said.
He also clarified that he has casted his vote not as the Chairman of the Council but as an elected member of Mawkhar-Pynthorumkhrah which is also as per rule.
Stating that the Council needs to have a team with quality and responsibility, the Chairman urged Kharkongor to find out ways and means to increase to revenue collection of the Council.
Addressing the House, Kharkongor slammed the UDA members for abstaining from participating in the election just because that they are no longer in power.
“Just because they (UDA) have been ousted from power and that they have ministers in the Secretariat, they have sought imposition of administrator’s rule in the Council. However, we are going as per rules and provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Indian Constitution,” he said.
The newly elected KHADC chief also sought the support of all members for ensuring the smooth functioning of the Council and for the EC to last till the end of this term.
Later, Kharkongor told reporters that his top most priority will be to protect the interest of the indigenous people by taking up issues relating to influx, land, forest and others.
Asked, he informed that would soon submit the list of executive members to the Governor for his approval.
Earlier, speakers at the felicitation ceremony expressed confidence on the leadership of Kharkongor, who according to them is an experience and capable leader.