Within 24 hours after the United Democratic Party (UDP), a partner in the coalition Government of Meghalaya, submitting a letter to the Chief Election Commission of India urging the EC to hold the by-election to the two Assembly constituencies – South Tura Constituency and Ranikor Assembly Constituency – on same date, the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Wednesday also urged the EC to consider holding the by-polls simultaneously.
While referring to the notification by Election Commission of India on June 23, 2018, regarding the schedule for by-election to fill the vacancy in the 51-South Tura (ST) Legislative Assembly seat in Meghalaya, the MPCC in a letter drew attention of the Election Commission’s failure to notify the schedule to fill up the vacancy in the 35-Ranikor (ST) Legislative Assembly seat.
In the letter to the EC, issued on Wednesday, MPCC general secretary Waibha K Kyndiah stated that the two Legislative Assembly seats – Ranikor and South Tura – have remained vacant in the State due to resignation of two MLAs – MM Danggo from 35-Ranikor (ST) Legislative Assembly Constituency and Kumari Agatha Sangma from 51-South Tura Legislative Assembly Constituency. But the 35-Ranikor (ST) Legislative Assembly seat remained vacant since much earlier than 51-South Tura Legislative Assembly Constituency.
Stating that holding of by-elections to the vacant Assembly seats in Meghalaya might provide “undue advantage” to the ruling party, the MPCC in the letter stated, “Therefore the responsibility of the Election Commission of India to fill up the casual vacancies of both the Legislative Assembly Constituencies simultaneously. Holding two different schedules for election to fill the two casual vacancies will, without any doubt, provide undue advantage to the party in the Government and will therefore defeat the spirit of free and fair election.”
The MPCC has urged the Election Commission of India to “consider holding of election to fill both the casual vacancies simultaneously”.