Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Tuesday assured that the upcoming bye-elections in the three Assembly constituencies will be held in a peaceful environment.
His statement came in the wake of the recent threats issued by the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) against voting for the ruling National People’s Party (NPP).
Speaking to journalists here, Rymbui said the police department will never take any threat lightly and will prevent any people who are trying to do create some mischieves.
“We will try to the best of our abilities to prevent (unlawful activities) and maintain peace and tranquility in the state of Meghalaya,” he added.
The home minister however termed HNLC’s threat as a “political statement”.
“It is a political statement which in any democracy, every person has the right to chose the candidate and the party which he will be associated within the framework of the constitution,” he said.
He also added, “There is no bar for anybody to join or to associate themselves with any political party. (Therefore), as I said this is a political statement which the people understand what is their right to chose, which party they see could take them in the path of development or to fulfill their aspiration.”
Asked on the measures taken to ensure free and fair bypolls, Rymbui said, “(All) precautionary steps have been taken by the police department and also by the district administrations that elections in all three constituencies could be, should be and will be held in a peaceful environment where the voters are able to exercise their rights according to their own conscience.”
On the MPCC chief Vincent Pala’s allegation that there is a ‘clash of interest’ between MDA ministers and the HNLC, Rymbui however refused to comment and said, “You better ask him about the full details, I don’t have details with me.”
“Moreover, people will make any kind of allegations during elections but we have to ensure whatever we can, we will do to see that illegal activities in any form be controlled or should not take place,” he added.
Regarding the IED incidents in the state especially in Shillong city, the home minister informed that the investigation is still going on. “It is duty of the police to see and ensure the case reaches its logical conclusion,” he said.
He assured that the government is taking and will be taking all measures to see peace and tranquility prevails in the state.
“Having said that, the police department from time to time is doing and will do to prevent or to see that this type of incident or activities is not taking place,” Rymbui asserted.
Bypolls for Mawryngkneng, Mawphlang and Rajabala are slated to be held on October 30 while counting will be on November 2.