Around 75 per cent votes were polled in Meghalaya on Tuesday and the Assembly elections were by and large peaceful, Chief Electoral Officer F R Kharkongor said. The election office is awaiting data from remote places in the Garo Hills and East Jaintia Hills districts, he added.
“More than 13.5 lakh of the 18.09 lakh voters in Meghalaya cast their votes. This means around 74.62 per cent polling was recorded,” he said. The final figure could go up after data from remote areas is added. Kharkongor said repolling could be held in one booth of Raliang constituency in West Jaintia Hills district after polling was stopped due to EVM related problems. A report from the district election officer is awaited.
Two more polling stations in South Garo Hills and South West Garo Hills districts may also go for repoll as officials forgot to delete mock poll data from the machines, Kharkongor said. Of the 3,025 EVMs used, only 28 malfunctioned, the CEO said.
Altogether, 361 candidates are in the fray for 59 seats, for which elections were held on Tuesday. Election was countermanded in Williamnagar constituency following the death of NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma in a militant attack on February 18.
The Congress, which has been ruling for nine years, is hoping to retain power despite an aggressive campaign mounted by the BJP. The BJP, which had tied up with regional parties in the Assam and Manipur elections in 2016 and 2017, respectively, is going it alone in Meghalaya, calling for a change in the state.
The National People’s Party (NPP), founded by former Lok Sabha Speaker late Purno A Sangma in 2013, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre, is also fighting alone, and has fielded 52 candidates against 60 of the Congress. The BJP, which is optimistic of winning a majority, has fielded candidates in only 47 of the 60 constituencies. with pti