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Shillong South Tura bypoll on August 23

A CORRESPONDENT

SHILLONG, July 23: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday announced the date for a by-election in Meghalaya.
The ECI announced the date for by-poll in the state’s South Tura Constituency which was vacated by Agatha K Sangma to pave the way for the election of her brother and Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma.
The by-poll for the South Tura seat would be held on August 23 and the votes will be counted on August 27.

As per the schedule announced by the ECI, the date of issue of Gazette notification would be July 30. The last date of filing of nominations would be August 8, scrutiny of the papers will be held on August 7 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is August 9.

According to the ECI, the date for the South Tura by-election was taken after considering the various factors like festivals, electoral rolls and weather conditions.

Conrad was sworn in as the Chief Minister on March 6, which means he will have to be elected as MLA before September 6.

It may be mentioned that in the February 27 polls, Agatha Sangma (NPP) polled 6,499 votes and Billykid (BJP) secured 4,896 votes, while Congress candidate Grithalson Arengh got the third position with 3,597 votes.
Former South Tura legislator John Leslee Sangma (NCP) came in fourth place with 3314 votes. There were as many as nine candidates in the fray in the last February polls.

Both the BJP and the UDP will not be putting up candidates for the South Tura seat.

The ECI however, is yet to announce the date for by-poll to the Ranikor Assembly Constituency which was vacant after former Congressman Martin M Danggo resigned to seek re-election from the NPP. The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in the by-election in all the polling stations. Adequate numbers of EVMs and VVPATs have been made available for the constituency and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly using the machines.

Meanwhile, the Commission has decided, as in the past, that a valid document to prove the voter’s identification shall be mandatory for the voter to exercise her or his franchise.

Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) shall be the main document to of identification. However, in order to ensure that no voter is deprived of his/her franchise, if the voter’s name figures in the Electoral Rolls, separate instructions will be issued to allow additional documents for identification of voters in due course during the bye-election.

The Model Code of Conduct shall come into force with immediate effect in the district(s) in which the whole or any part of the Assembly Constituency going for bye-election is included, subject to the partial modification as issued vide Commission’s instruction No. 437/6/INST2016-CCS, dated 29th June, 2017 (available on the Commission’s website).

The Model Code of Conduct shall be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the State Government concerned. It shall also be applicable to the Union Government for the district of the State concerned.