Regional

Autonomous Councils polls in Meghalaya conducted smoothly

Correspondent Shillong, Feb 27: | Publish Date: 2/28/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

Elections to the two autonomous district councils – Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) – to elect new councilors to the 29-member House were conducted “smoothly” on Wednesday.

 Polling began at 7 am on a sluggish note in all the 1,841 polling stations. Voting however picked up by afternoon despite inclement weather.

Nodal Officer for District Council Affairs, Aldea Nikhla said voters turnout in JHADC was 78.657 percent, and 60.283 percent in KHADC till 6 pm. She said the voting percentage figures are expected to go up as most of the presiding officials are yet to submit the voters’ turnout.

“Polling was conducted peacefully with no report of poll-related incident,” Niklha said.

Heavy security cover has been provided for the poll even as allegations of threats and intimidation were reported by different political parties during the day-long polling.

There are 1,433 polling stations spread across the 29 constituencies of KHADC while 29 constituencies under JHADC have 408 polling booths. A total of 131 candidates are contesting from KHADC, and 101 candidates from JHADC.

Eight women candidates including three sitting members of KHADCand one in JHADC are in the fray.

Two sitting legislators of the Meghalaya Assembly are also in the fray;  Gigur Myrthong of the ruling National People’s Party from Mawshynrut constituency, and Lambor Malngiang, an Independent MLA from Nongkrem, who is also the chairman of the state planning board.

Major political parties – ruling National People’s Party (NPP), United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), People’s Democratic Front (PDF) besides the opposition Congress – contested the elections besides a host of independent candidates.

Even as the district council elections do not have the same importance as the Assembly election, all the political parties including the national parties like the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party keenly spar in it. Counting of votes will take place on March 2.

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