Voting for Meghalaya assembly elections begins

March 3rd, 2008 - 10:07 am ICT by admin  

Shillong, March 3 (IANS) Voting for elections to the 60-member assembly in the northeastern state of Meghalaya began Monday amid tight security, officials said. A poll official said people in large numbers attired in their traditional tribal costumes lined up polling booths much before voting opened at 7 a.m. Polling ends at 4 p.m.

“Voting has begun with people showing lot of enthusiasm,” he said.

A total of 331 candidates representing 13 political parties and 73 independent candidates are in the fray in the single-phase polling in the hill state for the eighth Meghalaya assembly. The polling in one constituency has been postponed following the death of a candidate.

More than 1.2 million people are eligible to cast their ballots with counting of votes scheduled for May 7.

The vote would determine the fate of six former chief ministers - D.D. Lapang, Purno A. Sangma, Salseng C. Marak, E.K. Mawlong, F.A. Khonglam and J.D. Rymbai.

The ruling Congress party, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP) have emerged as the three main parties trying to form the next government in Christian majority Meghalaya.

While the Congress is contesting all the 60 seats, the UDP has put up candidates in 52 seats and the NCP in 50.

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