SIlchar, March 18: It is for the first time that a tribal leader Lalthomlien Hmar who is also the chairman of Barak Valley Hill Tribe Development Council is trying his fate in the polls from Lakhipur in Cachar. After filing his nomition paper, he told the media-persons though he is contesting as an Independent candidate, he is being supported by JD (U), AIUDF and RJD. He regretted that though tribal population in this Barak Valley forms a substantial segment, no tribal has ever been selected by any party since Independence.
Lalthomlien Hmar takes pride in the fact that he is the first among the tribals who has decided to fight poll battle all in the interest of the tribal community with a population of 3 lakh. Around 17,000 tribal voters of Lakhipur constituency will support him and all the punji headmen have decided to back him so that there is no split up in the votes of tribals. “It is really unfortute that tribals should be neglected and no candidate can be selected from them by any political party”, he pointed out.
It is this deprivation and denial that their voice has never been raised in the Assembly and nothing has been done for their socio-economic development. Tribals have many areas of concern which include education, games and sports, culture, potable water, sanitation and health services. “If elected my priority will be to focus on these issues and bring smiles to the people of tribal communities”, Lalthomlien Hmar said. Not only the people of Lakhipur in general but all the 16 tribal communities will lend their support. “It is their inspiration and encouragement which have led me to decide to fight and submit my nomition paper”, he added to say.
Lalthomlien Hmar also made it clear that Congress which has been ruling the roost in this constituency for decades will now be discarded by the people and the tribals in particular. He left no ambiguity when he stated, “It will be Sanjay Thakur, Independent candidate, who will be my main contender and Rajdeep Goala, who is contesting on Congress symbol, will be nowhere in the picture”. All Assam Tribal Sangha as well as other tribal bodies have backed his candidature.
Lalthomlien Hmar took the opportunity to say as a chairman of Barak Valley Hill Tribe Development Council, he has always been trying to uphold the cause of his communities and make all endevour to remove their woes and sorrows and meet their basic demands. He was happy to note that the role of Election Commission of India is quite laudable which has taken tough measures against all sorts of malpractices and evils. He has a dig at Congress which so far has been banking on questioble methods to get votes. This time Congress will not get any access in tribal areas to influence them in its favour.