Nearly 44% turnout in Meghalaya Assembly by election

Shillong, May 10 : Around 44 per cent voters cast their votes till 11 a.m. on Wednesday in the Sohiong Assembly constituency in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district as balloting is underway amid tight security measures. The state's Chief Electoral Officer F.R. Kharkongor said that first timers, young and elderly voters enthusiastically cast their ballots since the polling started at 7 a.m. Voting will conclude at 4 p.m. Out of the 63 polling stations, the Nongpathaw model booth took an initiative of "cast a vote, plant a tree", the Officer said. A total of 34,783 eligible voters, including 17,687 female electorates, would decide the fate of the six candidates in the fray. The constituency is witnessing a multi-corner contest among the partners of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government and opposition parties. The elections for 60-member Meghalaya Assembly were held on February 27 but the polling in Sohiong could not be held following the death of United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate H. Donkupar Roy Lyngdoh, who passed away on February 20 due to illness. For the bypoll, the UDP has fielded Synshar Lyngdoh Thabah, the National People's Party (NPP) has put up Samlin Malngiang, the BJP nominated Seraph Eric Kharbuki, Congress fielded S. Osborne Kharjana, the Trinamool Congress put up Stodingstar Thabah and the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) nominated Sandondor Ryntathiang. The UDP, NPP and BJP are partners of the MDA government, headed by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, who is also the National President of the NPP. In the February 27 elections, the NPP, BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress and the HSPDP had also put up candidates in the Sohiong constituency. Votes will be counted on May 13. /IANS


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