Shillong, February 26: Preparations are underway for crucial Meghalaya Assembly elections on Tuesday. Polling will be held between 7 AM and 4 PM. Also Read - West Bengal: 'Governor Acting Like BJP Spokesperson,' Says Mamata on Hemtabad BJP MLA Murder Accusations
Out of 60 constituencies, voting will be held for 59 as election has been countermanded in Williamnagar in the wake of the killing of NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma in an IED blast in East Garo Hills district on February 18. Also Read - 'Congress on Ventilator, Taking Last Breath,' AAP Scoffs Amid Rajasthan Political Crisis
For the Congress, the poll outcome in Meghalaya is particularly significant as it has been ruling the state for the last 10 years. But this time, the Bharatiya Janata Party is leaving no stone unturned to throw the Congress out of power and add Meghalaya into its kitty.
Political observers are keenly watching the BJP’s push in the north-east, a Congress stronghold, where the saffron party has traditionally been a marginal player.
In Meghalaya, the Congress and the BJP are pitted against each other. While the former has fielded 59 candidates, the latter has put up nominees in 47 constituencies.
Though they are contesting the polls separately, in Meghalaya, the National People’s Party (NPP) of Conrad Sangma, son of former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma, is the BJP’s partner in the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
There are 370 candidates in the fray in Meghalaya. A total of 18.4 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 3,083 polling stations in the state.
Meghalaya’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) FR Kharkongor said for the first time, 67 all-women polling stations and 61 model polling stations were set up in the state.
He added that 32 women candidates were in the fray, the highest ever in the state.
The Meghalaya CEO said that six of the 10 additional companies of CAPF were deployed in the troubled East and South Garo Hills districts.