Shillong, Nov 12 (UNI) Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma today said the influx of migrants from neighbouring countries into the Northeastern states has posed a serious challenge to democratic governance.
''Vote bank politics played around the issue of migrants has confounded the situation,'' Mr Sangma said delivering the 8th Professor Barrister Pakem memorial lecture on 'Accountability, Transparency and Democracy: Northeast India Experience' at St Anthony's College here.
He said the six-year agitation on the illegal Bangladeshi migrant issue from 1979 to 1985 and its culmination in the Assam accord has become matters of history. Tardiness in the implementation of the agreement has been a serious irritant in the region, he added.
Mr Sangma felt that the demographic distortion caused by the migrations should be rectified and balance in the composition of the population reinstated.
In order to ensure accountability, Mr Sangma said fair and free elections should be held to ensure that the candidates did not develop a principal client relationship with their financiers, as these relationships result in quid pro quos in favour of the financiers by the legislators.
With only 24 parliamentary constituencies from the Northeast, Mr Sangma said an overarching Northeastern identity was required.
''Individual states with one or two constituencies may not be taken seriously, even though in the era of governance through coalitions, every member of Parliament counts,''he said.
Mr Sangma also called for the creation of an 'enabling environment, and development of infrastructure, energy, transport and communications adding that the private sector also has to take extensive roots in the region.