Insight Online News
Shillong, Oct 30 : Voting in the by-elections to the three assembly seats in Meghalaya began on Saturday morning amidst tight security, an election official said.
Strict precautions have been taken to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Social distancing is being observed, and people have been advised to wear a mask while they wait for their turn to vote.
Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of polling stations well before voting opened at 7 am in the entire state. Polling ends at 4 pm, Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor said.
Altogether 1,02,695 voters, including 53,106 women, are expected to exercise their right to franchise during the by-elections and decide the fate of 13 candidates on Saturday.
“All preparations have been made for the smooth conduct of the polls. Moreover, we would ensure that voters exercise COVID appropriate behaviour during the polling,” Chief Electoral Officer, Frederick Roy Kharkongor, said.
As per the COVID protocol, one health worker will be present in each of the polling stations and sanitizers and disposable gloves would be made available for the voters, he informed.
There are five candidates each vying for the Mawryngkneng and Rajabala seats and three candidates for the Mawphlang seat.
There is only one female candidate among these candidates.
Mawrynkneng and Rajabala assembly seats were held by Congress, while the Mawphlang assembly seat was held by an independent candidate.
The main fight is between the ruling National People’s Party, Congress and the United Democratic Party.
In all there are 168 polling stations. Mawryngkneng has the highest number of 60 polling stations 60, followed by 58 in Rajabala and 50 in Mawphlang.
Out of these 47 are considered vulnerable polling stations and the rest are normal. A total of 672 polling officials have been deployed in all these polling stations.