SHILLONG: A seasoned name in Meghalaya politics and former Deputy Chief Minister, Standling David Khongwir, breathed his last on Tuesday at the NEIGRIMHS Hospital.
The 90-year-old, widely known as SD Khongwir, succumbed to a prolonged illness, leaving behind a legacy of remarkable political service.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma expressed his condolences, acknowledging Khongwir as a “seasoned politician” who dedicated himself to public service until his final days.
In a post on a micro-blogging website, the Chief Minister wrote, “Pained to learn about the demise of Former Deputy Chief Minister, Shri Standlington D Khongwir. Apart from being a seasoned politician, Bah Khongwir was a hands-on leader and was the longest-serving Rangbah Shnong of Mawlai Nonglum who showed his dedication to the community till his final days. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. May he rest in peace.”
Khongwir’s political journey spanned over several decades, marked by an impressive 25-year tenure as the MLA of Mawlai.
He chose to retire from active politics in 1998, a decision that reflected his commitment to public service over personal ambition.
The late politician played a pivotal role in Meghalaya’s political landscape from the time the state attained Statehood.
His electoral victories started in 1972, and he continued to serve the people until 1993.
His decision not to contest the 1998 elections signalled the end of an era in Meghalaya politics.
Throughout his illustrious career, Khongwir held crucial portfolios, including Deputy Chief Minister, under the leadership of Late Darwin Diengdoh Pugh and Late Brington Buhai Lyngdoh.
Additionally, he chaired the State Planning Board and contributed significantly to shaping the state’s developmental agenda.
A key figure in regional politics, Khongwir was associated with parties such as the Hills State People Democratic Party (HSPDP) and played a vital role in the establishment of the United Democratic Party (UDP).
Beyond his political contributions, Khongwir held the position of Rangbah Shnong (headman) of Mawlai Nonglum for an impressive 55 years.
Elected in 1968, he also served as the President of Mawlai Town Dorbar (MTD) since 1988, showcasing his enduring commitment to community leadership.