Campaigning for Tura by-poll ends
SHILLONG, May 14: Campaigning for the May 16 Tura Lok Sabha seat by-poll necessitated by the demise of former Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma came to an end on Saturday evening.
Tura Lok Sabha seat is facing a two-cornered fight between Conrad K Sangma, the younger son of PA Sangma, of the tiol People’s Party (NPP) and Congress legislator from Mahendraganj, Dikkanchi D Shira who is also Chief Minister, Dr Mukul Sangma’s wife.
Tribal Affairs Minister, Jual Oram and lin Kohli - both of the BJP - visited Garo Hills to seek votes for Conrad. For the Congress, the charge was led by Dr Sangma himself.
Both candidates toured the length and breadth of Garo Hills region to seek votes.
On Saturday, the fil day of campaigning, Conrad held whirlwind rallies at Rajabala in the plain belt area of West Garo Hills and Damalgre on the outskirt of Tura town.
Congress candidate Dikkanchi D. Shira also toured the plain belt area of West Garo Hills in her last minute effort to woo voters. The Tura Lok Sabha seat has 24 assembly segments out of which 22 are held by the Congress and its allies while two others are held by NPP. There are 945 polling stations. According to an electoral roll published on January 11 this year, the Tura Lok Sabha seat has a total of 6,22,189 voters - 3,15,255 males and 3,06,934 females. Of the 945 polling stations, 437 polling booths have been categorised as hypersensitive, of which 317 stations were considered hypersensitive because of militancy, and 120 stations because of other reasons.
There are 126 sensitive polling stations and the rest 382 are considered normal.
A total of 12 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure law and order during the by poll.
The counting of votes will be held on May 19. Meanwhile, training for receiving officers for receipt of poll materials was conducted at Ampati MFC on Saturday afternoon. Moreover, an FIR was lodged today by the Returning Officer (RO) for the election Pravin Bakshi with the Tura police station over alleged distribution of hate pamphlets in Garo hills. The FIR was filed by Bakshi based on a complaint by BK Hari Prasad, AICC general secretary.
Richard M Marak, media and publicity convener, MPCC, alleged that there was targeted distribution of “hate pamphlets” of the Right-wing, Hindu tiolist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ahead of the elections.
The AICC has written a strong complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi and has demanded an immediate probe into this matter.
The AICC has also demanded an immediate seizure and arrest of these fringe anti-social elements so that they cannot operate in the area and hamper conduct of free and fair elections. Chief Minister, Dr.Mukul Sangma also said that people are trying to spread commul disharmony among the electorate to hamper the on-going by polls and urged the electorate not to get disconcerted and maintain peace and harmony.