A matrilineal state sans a woman minister! Sounds surprising! But this is a fact. And it has raised many an eyebrow.
Altogether 12 ministers were sworn in on March 6 in Meghalaya. All of them are male. Change of guard in Meghalaya has seen woman being left out in the ministry.
In the previous Congress-led government in Meghalaya, there were three women ministers — Ampareen Lyngdoh, Deborah Marak and Roshan Warjri. This time around, only Agatha Sangma from NPP is on the right side of the table, while the other two elected women legislators – Ampareen Lyngdoh and Dikkanchi Shira belong to Congress.
Agatha has the experience of running the Rural Development Ministry as junior minister during Dr Manmohan Singh regime. Before the election she even told Northeast Now, “I was extremely lucky to be the Member of Parliament at a young age and a central minister. I met different people and visited a lot of places during my tenure as an MP. I have learnt a lot from different parts of the world. I feel that my experience would enable me to bring good to the people of South Tura and the state of Meghalaya.”
In fact, non-representation of woman in the new Meghalaya ministry has become a hot topic of discussion. Those who keep track of latest political developments were quick to point out Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on empowering women before the election.
In his election campaign in Shillong, Congress president Rahul Gandhi hit out at RSS saying their idea is aimed at dis-empowering women. “Does anyone know many leadership positions are with women in RSS? Zero,” Rahul said.
The Congress president even invited the woman folk to join the party in Meghalaya so that the party gets more and more women to choose from.
“We expected Agatha in the ministry as she is the lone female face from the ruling NPP but her exclusion has surprised us,” a college student, who had voted for the first time in this election, told Northeast Now.