SHILLONG, Dec 30: Meghalaya lost four veteran political leaders, Clifford Marak, P R Kyndiah, Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, Founder Strong Cajee and Friday Lyngdoh this year.
Clifford Marak the lone Garo tiol Council (GNC) MLA in the Meghalaya Assembly, breathed his last on February 28 in the Intertiol Hospital in Guwahati in Assam.
The 68-year old MLA was battling from liver and kidney diseases. He was the lone legislator from his party and represented Chokpot constituency in South Garo Hills (SGH). Marak was also the founder of the GNC.
Marak and his party had been fighting for a separate Garoland state and he had been at the forefront of the demand for the past 2 decades. Former Shillong MP and Congress leader, Patty Ripple Kyndiah, died on March 26, 2015. Born on May 7, 1928, Kyndiah, a Hill State Movement leader, was a prominent figure in Meghalaya politics as from 1970 to 1993, he was a member of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. While from 1975 to 1988, Kyndiah served as cabinet minister in State, as Leader of Opposition, Acting Chief Minister and Speaker of the Assembly. Kyndiah had also served as Governor of Mizoram from 1993 to 1998 and subsequently he was elected to Lok Sabha three times (1998, 1999 and 2004) from Shillong seat.
Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, who pioneered the demand for a separate Khasi-Jaintia state and the anti-uranium mining movement also passed away this year at 86 years. He was born on March 15, 1929 and died on September 26, 2015, at Shillong. Lyngdoh represented Nongstoin constituency in the Assembly since 1962. Founder of the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), he ventured into electoral politics in 1957 when he was elected as a member of the then United Khasi Jaintia Hills Autonomous District. In 1962, he was among the few Khasi, Jaintia and Garo leaders who made an entry into the then composite Assam Legislative Assembly.
The year also saw the demise of another politician of the state, Founder Strong Cajee. Cajee was former minister and four-time MDC from Mawlai constituency. Cajee passed away on November 10 following a cardiac arrest in CMC, Vellore. He was 55. Born on January 10, 1960, Cajee is the first Congress legislator from Mawlai after winning the 2008 Assembly elections. Former minister and ex-president of Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), Friday Lyngdoh was the latest to pass away this year. 86-year-old Lyngdoh died on December 24 after a prolonged age related illness. Lyngdoh was first elected as legislator from Mawkhar constituency in 1990 during the by-election. He represented the constituency again in 2003 and 2008. He had served as minister in the DD Lapang led ministry and held various portfolios including that of urban affair minister.