Lapang faces tough electoral battle

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Nongpoh, Feb 17 (UNI) Voters in Chief Minister D D Lapang's constituency have expressed discontentment over the poor developmental work undertaken here over the past five years.

Nongpoh, in Ri-Bhoi district, has been Mr Lapang's stronghold since decades.

He first contested successfully from the seat in 1972 as an Independent. Later, he joined the Congress and lost in 1993 to newcomer Constantine Lyngdoh.

However, people in his contituency were dissatisfied over the poor road connectivity, especially in the remote areas.

''The road condition has not improved, traffic snarl has increased and caused tremendous hardship for villagers,'' Theodora Iawphaniaw, a roadside vendor said.

Even the NH 44, that cuts through the heart of Nongpoh, has been disrupted since months.

The Lapang-led government had claimed that about ten crore were spent on repairs works of the highway.

''The NH has turned into a kucha road and you can well imagine the condition of roads in remote village areas,'' lamented Maring, another voter.

In fact, a local NGO Ri Bhoi Youth Federation, piqued at the government's apathy to repair the state's life line.

''We want a change and elect a new representative, who will do some work,'' an annoyed Maring from Umthangiong village asserted.

The constituency is also lagging behind in health sector with the far-flung villages having an acute shortage of medicines and doctors. ''Every year many lose their lives to Malaria and water borne diseases,'' said one Doctor Bom.

However, the outgoing Chief Minister and his supporters are confident of retaining the prestigious seat.

''I am confident to retain my seat and continue good work for the people,'' Mr Lapang, who is facing a triangular contest with UDP candidate Dr Celestine Lyngdoh and Hill State People's Democratic Party Markus Lyngdoh in the fray, said.

UNI RRK PP SP RN1848

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