In Meghalaya, 67% people had voted till 5 pm, which went to the polls on Tuesday. “The pace of voting slowed a bit to be more than 24% by noon,” The Hindu quoted Meghalaya’s Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor as saying. Polling will continue till late evening, Hindustan Times said.
Thirty electronic voting machines in the state’s Garo Hills area reportedly malfunctioned. The machines have faulty wiring, and the problem is being attended to, the daily quoted an unidentified official as saying.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Election Commission against a private radio channel Radio Mirchi for allegedly airing an objectionable advertisement, AIR reported. “Messages like ‘Don’t vote for [the] anti-Christian party’ are being aired,” the BJP alleged. The party demanded immediate action.
The election to the Williamnagar seat in the state was countermanded after its Nationalist Congress Party candidate Jonathone Sangma was killed in an explosion on February 18. The Bharatiya Janata Party is hopeful of winning in Manipur after its electoral victories in Assam and Manipur in the last two years.
Meghalaya Director General of Police SB Singh said 106 companies of security forces had been deployed throughout the state on Tuesday, with major concentration in the Garo Hills, The Shillong Times reported.
The Congress is fighting to save Meghalaya, one of its two remaining bases in the northeast. If the party loses Meghalaya, it will be left with only Mizoram.
Mukul Sangma’s record as chief minister was mixed – while he provided stability in the areas hit by insurgencies, his government also faces charges corruption charges and legislators holding offices of profit.
Meanwhile, the BJP and the National People’s Party, founded by Garo leader PA Sangma, and headed by his son Conrad Sangma have attracted several Congress defectors. But the BJP has been struggling to shed its anti-Christian image in many parts of the state.
The votes will be counted on March 3.