ASSEMBLY POLLS 2018
* 'Service voters' issue discussed with ECI
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, Dec 22: Even as most of the political parties in Meghalaya were more concerned over the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and VVPATs during elections, the tiolist Congress Party (NCP) brought up the issue of “service voters” before the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday.
This concern over the ‘service voters’ was brought up by a delegation of the NCP who met Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti.
According to the general secretary of the NCP Meghalaya State unit, SP Thapa, most people recruited in various defence establishments were from other States.
Thapa also informed media persons that in the case of the Gorkha Training Centre, people from Nepal were recruited.
“These service people have already enrolled as voters in their respective States and they should be the service voters of their State only. How can service people from other States and Nepal become voters of Meghalaya just because they are posted here,” the general secretary of the Meghalaya unit of NCP said.
It may be mentioned a team of the Election Commission of India led by Chief Election Commissioner is on a two-day visit of Meghalaya to review the preparedness of the State to hold Assembly elections slated for February 2018. The Chief Election Commissioner is accompanied by two election commissioners, Om Prakash Rawat and Sunil Arora.
Meanwhile, the State unit of the NCP also questioned the decision of the Election Commission to count the votes recorded in EVMs and VVPAT slips from only one polling station from each constituency even as it urged the commission to use ballot papers in the 2018 Assembly polls.
NCP State working president Vijay Raj told media persons that they had demanded that all polling booths should be counted in order to ensure that votes recorded in EVMs and VPPAT slips are tallying.
“If the ECI is not counting all votes recorded in EVMs and VVPAT slips from polling booths, what is the point in introducing VVPAT?”Raj asked.
The party also asked the EC to do away with EVMs and VVPATs and re-introduce ballot papers.
The Khun Hynñiewtrep tiol Awakening Movement urged the EC to check to use of money power during elections and also to fix minimum educatiol qualification for aspiring candidates.
The other political parties of the State which met the EC were the Congress, BJP, NPP, UDP, HSPDP, TMC, LJP.
The EC also met the SPs and DCs and on Saturday the team will meet the chief secretary and the DGP.
Earlier this month, a team of the Commission had visited Meghalaya to review the preparedness of the State election machinery.