SHILLONG: Two Parliamentary constituencies in Meghalaya – Shillong and Tura will vote on Thursday in the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls.
A total of nine candidates are contesting in both the constituencies.
For the Shillong Parliamentary seat there are six contestants –Congress candidate and sitting MP, Vincent H Pala is being challenged by common candidate of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) ruling coalition, Jemino Mawthoh, BJP has set up South Shillong MLA, Sanbor Shullai. Apart from the trio there are three Independents – THS Bonney, Samuel Hashah and Romeo Phira Rani.
The Tura Parliamentary seat is facing a triangular contest, with former MP, Agatha K Sangma pitted against Congress’ Dr Mukul Sangma and BJP’s Rikman G Momin.
The Election Commission has gone the extra mile to ensure that there is high voter turnout. Polling will take place from 7 am to 4 pm.
For the polling day, the Election Commission has sought the assistance of organisations like the Bharat Scouts and Guides, Nehru Yuva Sangathan and the National Service Scheme who will be engaged in helping the people with disabilities at the polling centers.
Also there will be Braille voter slips, wheelchairs and transport allowance given to persons with disabilities in case the need arises.
It may be mentioned that there are 4686 person with disabilities who are registered voters in Meghalaya.
To beat urban apathy – the Election Department has also launched a Queue Management System to know the queue on voting day before they come out to exercise their franchise.
The Election Commission apart from the regular polling station will also have “pink” – all women polling stations.
In remote locations where connectivity is a problem, runners would be engaged who would transmit information from the polling stations. These runners would be deployed in places under South West Khasi Hills and also Garo Hills.
There are 3167 polling stations spread over the two constituencies Shillong and Tura. A total of 2053 polling stations are in the Shillong Lok Sabha seat and 1114 is in the Tura Parliamentary seat.
The Election Commission has so far seized around Rs 71 lakh in cash, and liquor worth around Rs 11 lakh.
There are 417 vulnerable and 117 critical polling stations and in about 106 polling stations the poll officials would have to “march on foot” for a distance below 5 km.
In certain areas of South Garo Hills officials will have to trek on foot for at least 5 to 8 km.
Around 9,000 state police personnel, 1700 home guards personnel, and 40 companies of central armed police force will be on duty.
Also read: Meghalaya news