Over 69 % voters turnout for polling in Meghalaya

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Over 69 % voters turnout for polling in Meghalaya

Shillong, April 11: Over 69.03 percent of the 15.67 lakh electorates Wednesday cast their votes for the two Lok Sabha seats in Meghalaya, an election official said Thursday.

“The final figures of voting polled in 2,562 polling booths spread across 11 districts was over 69.03 percent in Shillong and Tura constituencies in the state,” Meghalaya Chief Electoral Officer Prashant Naik said.

Tura constituency recorded the high voters turnout with 78.13 percent of the 5, 86,299 voters registered in the electoral rolls, while voters turnout in Shillong was registered at 63.58 percent an increased of one percent of the votes polled in 2009 Lok Sabha election, the election official said.

The voters’ turnout in Tura constituency also registered an increase of 10.47 per cent compared to 2009 Lok Sabha election which recorded of 67 per cent, while Shillong constituency, which is also the state capital of Meghalaya, the electorates turnout registered an increase of 1.35 per cent.

Of the 10, 79,886 voters who cast their ballots, Naik said the turnout of female voters was one percent higher – 70.09 percent of the 7, 89, 187 women electorates cast their votes, while 67.95 percent of the 7, 76,633 exercised their franchise in this matrilineal state.

The highest voters’ turnout was recorded at Mahendraganj assembly constituency under Tura parliamentary seats with 86.40 percent, while the lowest turnout of 52.65 percent was registered in Pynursla assembly constituency.

Mawlai assembly constituency, the highest voters’ concentration of 36,020, among the 36 assembly segments under Shillong parliamentary constituency registered 52.78 percent of voting, while Dalu assembly constituency under Tura parliamentary seat which has the lowest voter concentration of 16,476 recorded 80.98 percent of voters’ turnout.

In Wednesday’s voting, the electoral fortunes of ten candidates were sealed including that of former Lok Sabha Speaker and National People’s Party candidate Purno Agitok Sangma who is confident of returning to the Lok Sabha for the tenth-time from Tura parliamentary constituency.

The National People’s Party (NPP) supremo, who returned to the national political scene by seeking the mandate from the Tura constituency, is fighting the Lok Sabha polls on the plank of a separate Garoland to be carved out of Meghalaya.

Sangma’s foray into politics began in 1977 when he won the Lok Sabha election from Tura on the Congress ticket. He went on to win the Lok Sabha elections in 1984, 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004 besides the by-election in 2006. In 2004, he contested as a Trinamool Congress candidate.

For a brief period - 1988 to 1990 - he was Meghalaya chief minister and was also the candidate of the opposition in the last presidential election against Pranab Mukherjee.

Former Union Minister Agatha K.Sangma, the youngest parliamentarian in the current Lok Sabha, quit the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to join her father and the NPP. Agatha has decided not to contest the April 9 elections, making room for her father who had earlier represented Tura constituency.

Sangma locked horns in a straight fight against Congress’ nominee and first-timer Daryl William Cheran Momin.

In Shillong, there were eight candidates, including former Union Minister and Congress’ candidate Vincent H.Pala who is facing a multi-cornered contest amid division against his candidature in his party.

Prominent candidates in the state capital include sitting United Democratic Party legislator Paul Lyngdoh, Shibun Lyngdoh (Bharatiya Janata Party) and P.B.M. Basaiawmoit (Independent).

Former state BJP Mahila President and Independent candidate Ivoryna Shylla is the lone woman candidate who has thrown her hat in the electoral battle.

Basaiawmoit is supported by two regional parties, the Hill State People’s Democratic Party and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement, as also by some Independent legislators. The UDP candidate is supported by the NPP.

The NCP, which did not field any candidate in both the parliamentary constituencies, declared support to the Congress nominees Pala and Momin. The NPP candidate is supported by the Garo National Council, UDP and some Independent legislators.

In the 2009 election, Pala defeated John Filmore Kharshiing of the United Democratic Party (UDP) by over a lakh votes.

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