India15Ith February 2023: The MDA government is heading into the upcoming poll with a great deal of criticism. Yes, in a democratic system, it is fair to be critical; however, the NPP seem to be taking the brunt of the critique even though the coalition involved several other political parties.
Amidst its stormy adventure, the MDA has withstood several trials. Prior to 2018, Meghalaya was predominantly known for its scenic and aesthetic nature. While issues regarding law and order (that have routinely plagued Meghalaya) occasionally featured on national news coverage, governance was an outlying condition for the masses. Shirk international recognition, even national recognition, was rare.
Ampareen Lyngdoh, in her political career, has never witnessed such an unprecedented transition in the State, acknowledging, “Conrad Sangma’s government has been able to bring in significant development and shift in Meghalaya. Recognition, accolades and rankings improved drastically. In this generation, cultivating a niche is vital to stimulate engagement. The brand Meghalaya needed to be curated to draw investments and tourists, thereby promoting the State’s talents.”
The United Nations award for the Meghalaya Government’s digital initiative contributed to Meghalaya’s story-building. She continued, saying that “this was a critical effort where Meghalaya showcased to the world that while it made a late entry into digital governance, it has gained significant momentum and has caught up to the stalwarts.”
Last year, Meghalaya was awarded the best State in Startup India Awards and ranked in the top along with Karnataka and Gujarat. This is a definitive instance that, despite being a small state, Meghalaya has advanced steadily and is a contender amongst more influential States. In one of the Government run social media channels (PRIME), Coretta Sangma, a successful entrepreneur and founder of Nostalgia brand, credited PRIME Meghalaya for supporting her in building a brand for her products. Allowing her to provide employment opportunities for other women in her vicinity. Accolades in health and tourism, amongst others, support Conrad’s assertion of taking Meghalaya to its best standing in over ten years. Regardless, the Government contends that the standing is better today, and with continued momentum, it can be best tomorrow.
Concerning central schemes, the NPP-led Government’s achievements have been astonishing. A recollection made by Ampareen Lyngdoh in the past five years laments that “In the period of 2018-22, the Government constructed more roads than all previous governments did in 20 years. SHG revolution under the MDA government is never seen before achievement; from 5,000 SHGs in 2018, Meghalaya now has 43,000 SHGs. Other schemes, such as Jal Jeevan Mission (Meghalaya again awarded by Ministry of Jal Shakti), MGNREGS Meghalaya’s performance has been exemplary.”
The story of the rise is just the beginning; several initiatives have taken shape, such as the initiation of construction of infrastructures, people-led initiatives such as FOCUS and PRIME, branding of Meghalaya through tourism festivals and events and several others. These need nurturing, sharpening and continuation for a sustained period.
Practically in these five years minus two covid years, it will be hard to turn a blind eye towards the progress and strive made by Conrad’s Government.