Do MPs from the Northeast Have Enough of a Say in Parliament?

Do MPs from the Northeast Have Enough of a Say in Parliament?

Elections

Camerapersons: Brendon Marwein, Febbard Lyngdoh
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

India’s northeast has eight states and together they send 25 members of parliament to the Lok Sabha. Out of these 25, 14 MPs are voted in from Assam while the remaining 11 come from the other 7 states.

But are these parliamentarians really heard in Parliament? Do they make any real difference to the business in the Lok Sabha?

To find out, The Quint travelled to Shillong for a chaupal with the students of St Anthony’s college.

Most students felt that the MPs from the Northeast are not adequately heard even in Parliament.

Also Read : Election Chaupal Podcast | Citizenship Bill Biggest Issue in Assam

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“Even though the politicians are talking in the Parliament, our voice is not heard.”
Poulomi Ghosh, Student
“According to me, our representative from the Shillong seat, Mr Vincent Pala, participates in the Parliament and he has an attendance above 90 percent – so I hope he is speaking for us.”
Banshianglang Pyngrope, Student

Also Read : Election Chaupal: Students of Assam Say No to Communal Politics

Most students, though they were satisfied with the education infrastructure until the graduate level, felt they would need to move out to pursue higher studies.

“In our own state there are students who are fighting for scholarships for a very long time because the central government has stopped the sanctions of the scholarship funds since 2015.”
Banshianglang Pyngrope, Student

But their biggest concern was the scarcity of jobs in the Northeast.

“I will not relate this to the present government. It [employment] wasn’t there earlier and it isn’t there now.”
Poulomi Ghosh, Student
“I don’t think that the NDA government has given much more importance. They may have visited theNortheast but they have failed in job creation as the unemployment rate is the highest in the country in 45 years.”
Banshianglang Pyngrope, Student

Meghalaya votes on 11 April for the two Lok Sabha seats. One of the most high-profile contests in the Northeast is in the Tura Lok Sabha constituency. In Tura, former Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma is up against former MP and late PA Sangma’s daughter Agatha Sangma. Agatha is from NPP.

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