SHILLONG, Jan 21 – The Meghalaya government today announced February 24 as the date of elections to the Khasi and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Councils, but uncertainly looms over the poll date for the Garo Hills Council.
Commissioner Secretary Home Jophtiaw Lyngdoh, announcing the poll date for the councils, said the poll notification would be issued on February 5 and the model code of conduct would come into force immediately thereafter.
The last date of filing of nomination papers and scrutiny of the papers would be February 10 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is February 12. Counting of results would be held on February 27, he added. “Electronic voting machines (EVMs) would be used during the polls and the State government is procuring 1,925 EVMs for that. The State has 417 EVMs,” Lyngdoh said.
Lyngdoh said that 30 additional battalions of Central paramilitary forces are being sought from the Centre for the smooth conduct of the polls to be held at an estimated expenditure of Rs 9.6 crore.
In the Khasi Jaintia Hills, a total of about 10 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise. Voting to the district councils is entitled only for the local indigenous tribes of the two hill districts, which in the present case include Khasis and Jaintias.
On GHADC, Lyngdoh said that the election to that council has been held back due to the “extraordinary situation” prevailing there.