Shillong, Mar 7: Banteidor Lyngdoh was administered the oath of office as a cabinet minister here yesterday, along with his colleagues in the incoming state government.
Today it was announced that he has been allotted four portfolios – Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture & Weaving and the one TSR is most interested in, Sports & Youth Affairs.
The 41-year-old is the former secretary of current Shillong Premier League champions Langsning FC. He takes over as Sports Minister from Zenith Sangma, who served in that role in the previous Congress-led administration.
Lyngdoh was elected in the 27th February election from Mawkynrew, winning by around 500 votes over his closest opponent, on a People’s Democratic Front ticket and is also a sitting MDC.
He has a chequered past, however, having been arrested by police in the early 2000s on suspicion of militancy-related activities (which explains the first part of our headline), but was never convicted. He later entered politics and now holds a cabinet post – a phenomenal ascent indeed.
Reportedly, there were several MLAs looking to get the Sports & Youth Affairs portfolio, but Lyngdoh won through. Other names that were doing the rounds included AL Hek (now Health Minister among other things) and Hamletson Dohling (Urban Affairs Minister, etc), though TSR can’t confirm this.
Some big tasks lay in front of him – not least of which is the conduct of the National Games, which Meghalaya is supposed to host in 2022. The new government also has to decide on how (or if) to continue with the ambitious and expensive Mission Football policy of the previous Congress administration.
(Photo contributed by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations)