Around 12.06% voter turnout in Meghalaya polls till 9 a.m.

Around 12.06 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first two hours of voting till 9 a.m. on Monday in the Meghalaya Assembly polls

Shillong: Around 12.06 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first two hours of voting till 9 a.m. on Monday in the Meghalaya Assembly polls conducted in 59 of the 60 constituencies under heavy security measures, election officials said.

Voters of different ages including men, women and first-time voters in large numbers queued up in front of the polling stations much before the voting started at 7 a.m. in 12 districts.

The election officials said that they did not receive any report of untoward incidents so far from any of the 59 constituencies, except some technical hitches of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at a few polling stations.

Meghalaya Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) F.R. Kharkongor said that a total of 369 candidates, including 36 women, are in the fray.

In the 2018 Assembly polls, 329 candidates, including 32 women, had contested.

Around 21.75 lakh electorates, including 10.92 lakh women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in Monday’s elections.

In all, 13 political parties, including four having national status — BJP, Congress, National People’s Party (NPP) and Trinamool Congress — are contesting the election.

The BJP and the Congress have put up 60 candidates each, while main opposition Trinamool Congress nominated 56 candidates, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma-led NPP fielded 57 candidates, United Democratic Party (UDP) 46, Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) 11, People’s Democratic Front nine, Gana Suraksha Party one, Garo National Council two, Janata Dal (United) three, Republican Party of India two, Republican Party of India (Athawale) six, Voice of the People Party 18.

In all, 44 Independent candidates are also contesting the elections.

Polling was not held in Sohiong Assembly Constituency in East Khasi Hills district following the death of United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate H. Donkupar Roy Lyngdoh.

Vote count in Meghalaya will take place on March 2 along with Nagaland and Tripura.

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