South Tura constituency has 18 vulnerable polling stations, and the West Garo Hills district administration reviewed the law and order and security arrangement on Saturday to ensure a free and fair and smooth conduct of the by-election slated for August 23.
Four companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) were sanctioned to be deployed for conducting the by-election to South Tura constituency.
Ranikor constituency which goes to by-election together with South Tura to got four companies of CAPF.
“We reviewed the security and law and order situation ahead of the by-election to South Tura along with officials from the state police and CAPF,” West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Ram Singh told Northeast Now over phone from Tura.
CAPF officials including Inspector-General of CRPF from Shillong, DIG (law and order) Western Range and other district officials attended the review meeting chaired by the DC at Multi Facility Centre, District Rural Development Agency, Tura.
“The situation is good and having four companies of CAPF is sufficient for the by-election. We discussed about security plans especially deployment of personnel, besides minor issues like transportation and other logistics,” Singh said.
The campaign for the by-election will conclude on August 21 at 4 pm, 48 hours prior to the polling. The polling will be held on August 23 from 7 am to 5 pm.
The by-election to South Tura constituency is considered “high profile” with Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Kongkal Sangma joining the fray as it is mandatory for him to get elected as member of the tenth Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in order to continue as Chief Minister.
Of the 36 polling booths, South Tura has 18 vulnerable polling booths.
Besides the Chief Minister, the other candidates in the fray include opposition Congress nominee, Charlotte W Momin, and two Independent candidates – former South Tura MLA, John Leslee K Sangma and Chris Kabul.
Conrad, who is still the Lok Sabha MP from Tura, is also the NPP president.
South Tura has 30440 voters which include 14,966 male voters, and 15474 female voters.
There are also 37 service voters, and 35 persons with disabilities (PwDs) voters.
The polling station with highest number of voters is Matchakolgre Community Hall (1337 voters) and the polling station with lowest voters is Leper Colony (151 voters).
An all women polling station has been set up at Upper Babupara (L G B Higher Secondary School) and two model polling stations – Tura Govt. College (Room No. 1 Separate building) and Tura Govt. College (Room No. 2 Separate building). The PwD model polling station is Leper Colony LP School.