SHILLONG, April 9 - Ever graceful in her old age, one of Meghalaya�s Election department icons today stood at the State Central Library majestically, draped in blue and crimson under a sunny afternoon, washed clean by the heavy downpour in the morning.
That she could roll heads even at this age is enviable. Posing for selfies happily with students, bureaucrats, artists, all and sundry, she reminded people of the untiring services she had put in over the past several decades through the rough and tumble of life.
It is not just about the years of service she has put in, but the quality, because she never discriminated against people on the basis of their caste, creed, race, language or religion and so the Election department thought it befitting to felicitate the State�s iconic city bus of yore as an election symbol.
�The city bus represents the ethos of the election and the Indian democracy. She served people from all strata irrespective of their individual identities,� Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor told The Assam Tribune.
The city bus in question is not the present-day maroon buses that now ply on the city streets, but the city bus of the 1990s and before, which was one of the most important modes of communication both in the city and the rural areas. These buses now ply only in the rural areas and they are sometimes called the �Bazaar Bus�.
These buses are recognisable by their bright blue body and crimson rooftop and are embellished with lights, stickers and free spirit paintings by local artists on the back.
�These buses are the most identifiable and recognisable symbols of the State. These buses are unique to the State of Meghalaya, so we thought of having these buses as an election mascot of sorts,� Kharkongor said.
These iconic buses of the past were of Bedford make and slowly other Indian companies came in like Ashok Leyland and Tata, but they all sported the same bright colours and distinct glamorous look.
Ahead of the polls, pictures of these buses have been visible on all the election hoardings of the Election department, posters and cut-outs displayed to attract voters.
�These are the democracy buses with no prejudice,� the CEO said with the hope that the country would move forward after the elections in that spirit.