TURA (MEGHALAYA): Mahatma Gandhi’s walking stick has become the flavour of the election season in a key constituency in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills.Twenty-seven-year-old Aanamika JG Momin, who is contesting from the South Tura Assembly segment, wants to lead people the way the Mahatma did. So, she chose the walking stick as her election symbol and has started carrying it wherever she goes.
“The walking stick was inseparable from Mahatma Gandhi. He carried it wherever he went and guided people. I am inspired by his walking stick and leadership qualities. So, I chose it as my election symbol, for I too want to lead people the way he led the nation,” Momin, who holds two post-graduate degrees, including one in marketing, told The New Indian Express.
Robert Sangma, a local, said, “We came across Gandhigiri in movies. Hers is another kind of Gandhigiri”.
South Tura is seen as the toughest constituency in Garo Hills, accounting for 24 of Meghalaya’s 60 seats. “All giants are here,” said Momin, who is facing nine candidates, including sitting MLA John Leslee K Sangma of the Nationalist Congress Party, Billykid A Sangma of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Agatha Sangma, daughter of the late PA Sangma, of National People’s Party.
Incidentally, Agatha is Momin’s aunt. Momin is taking the fight sportingly. “No, I am not going after her. I am not criticising any candidate either. Why should I? Basically, I am telling people about my vision for the constituency,” she said. “I am a mother and I want people to vote for a mother. All sections of society are supporting me. They want a fresh candidate to win because they have already tasted fathers and daughter (read Agatha). They now want a change,” she said.
Of the nine candidates in the fray, four are contesting as Independents. The voters in the constituency had sent an Independent to the state Assembly in the last three elections. As such, Momin believes she stands a good chance.
“This is time for women to show what they can do. They are the ones who look after the family. It’s time they looked after the constituency by sending me to the Assembly,” she said.