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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Peaceful polling underway in Meghalaya

Date:

Polling began peacefully for the two Lok Sabha seats in Meghalaya at around 7 am on Friday amid tight security, a poll official said.

The voters began queuing up at polling stations hours before they were allowed in at 7 a.m.

“We can see the enthusiasm to participate in the electoral process, and voters lined up as early as 6 am at polling stations,” Chief Electoral Officer Dr. BDR Tiwari told UNI.

He said the first five voters were rewarded with mementoes, and first-time voters were also felicitated, encouraging them to exercise their franchise. Two saplings were also planted by first male and female voters at respective polling stations.

Six candidates are vying for the Shillong Lok Sabha seat, which is currently represented by Vincent H Pala of the Congress, who is seeking re-election for the fourth consecutive term.

There are four candidates in the electoral battle for the Tura Lok Sabha seat, which is held by Agatha K Sangma of the National People’s Party (NPP).

Agatha, the youngest sister of Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker and late leader PA Sangma, is seeking re-election for a fourth term.

The BJP, a constituent of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, is supporting the National People’s Party (NPP’s) nominees Agatha for the Tura seat and lone woman cabinet minister Dr. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh in the Conrad Sangma ministry for the Shillong seat.

The Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA), an alliance between the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), has fielded Robertjune Kharjahrin, while the opposition Voice of the People Party (VPP) has fielded Ricky Andrew J. Syngkon. Two Independent candidates, professor Lakhon Kma and advocate Peter Shallam, are also contesting for the prestigious Shillong LS seat.

In Tura parliamentary constituency, Zenith Sangma, the brother of former Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, is the Trinamool Congress candidate, while former state cabinet minister Saleng Sangma of the Congress and Independent candidate Laben Ch Marak are also in fray.

A total of 14,048 polling personnel have been deployed to all 3,512 polling stations, and 40 companies of the Central Armed Police Force have been deployed for the smooth conduct of the polls.Altogether, there are 22,26,567 voters, of which 10,99,517 are males and 11,27,047 are females, while there are three electors of the third gender. The total number of first-time voters is 31,247.

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