Hopingstone Lyngdoh, Meghalaya Assembly’s grand old legislator, who spearheaded the political movement for the creation of a Khasi-Jaintia state, and a movement against the mining of uranium in Meghalaya, died on Saturday. He was 86.
Lyngdoh, the Hill State People’s Democratic Party legislator, who was also India’s longest serving legislator, died at the super-speciality North East Indira Gandhi Regional of Health and Medical Sciences hospital here due of septicaemia and multi-organ failure at around 1.30 a.m.
Despite his ill-health, the HSPDP legislator attended the first two days of the recently concluded autumn session of the state assembly. The session was adjourned on 24 September.
Lyngdoh first won an assembly election in 1962 in the composite Assam assembly. He founded the Hill State People’s Democratic Party in 1965 with the lion as its symbol.
He also played a pro-active role in the creation of Meghalaya as a separate state from Assam. Meghalaya was created on January 21, 1972.
Lyngdoh, who had represented Shillong parliamentary constituency as member of the Lok Sabha in 1977, scripted history when he was elected as a legislator from two Assembly constituencies – Nongstoin and Pariong in Meghalaya’s West Khasi Hills district – in 1988.
He had served as a cabinet minister in the early and late 1990s and was deputy chief minister in a short-lived Meghalaya Progressive Alliance coalition government in 2008-09.
Besides having served in the assembly and in parliament, Lyngdoh had also served in the autonomous district council at different periods beginning from 1958. He was also the chief executive member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council from 1984-89.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and a host of cabinet ministers visited his residence and expressed their condolences.