Williamnagar: Polling in the Williamnagar Assembly seat in Meghalaya's East Garo Hills district began on a peaceful note at 7 am on Friday amid tight security arrangements. Polling for the seat was postponed after the death of NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma in an IED attack on February 18, days before the February 27 Assembly election in the state.
The key candidates are ruling National Peoples Party's former MLA Marcuis N Marak, Congress candidate Deborah C Marak and NCP's Krenila Marak, who is the wife of Jonathone S Sangma who died in the IED attack on February 18. While the National People's Party (NPP), the BJP, the United Democratic Party and the NCP are a part of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, they are contesting the polls independently.
Backed by the BJP and regional parties, NPP chief Conrad Sangma took over as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya in March this year. His win ended the 10-year rule of the Congress in the state. The BJP, with just two seats, had outmanoeuvred the single largest party Congress in cobbling up numbers to form the coalition government. Congress had bagged 21 seats in the 60-member assembly. Meghalaya had thrown up a fractured mandate with the Congress marginally ahead of the NPP, an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur.
Here are the updates:
## Ahead of the elections, Krinilla Marak had said that she was confident of winning the polls. "Jonathone's incomplete dreams are my guiding light. He wanted to change the situation for better in Williamnagar. He wanted to empower the people of the constituency - the same people who he loved and died for. I wish to take it up from where he left," she had said. The NCP candidate has been holding campaigns across the constituency with party president Saleng A Sangma by her side.
## As per reports in local media, a group of Congress leaders were on Wednesday escorted out of the Williamnagar constituency after they were seen in the area despite the time of the campaigning officially coming to an end.
## While campaigning for the seat, CM Conrad Sangma had thanked people for the support for NPP candidate Marcuise Marak.
Campaign for Williamnagar bypolls. Overwhelmed with the support from the people of Rongsak and Samanda for NPP candidate Marcuise Marak. Positive response from all areas. #VoteforNPP #VoteforMarcuiseMarak #NPPforaNewMeghalaya #StrengthenNPP #NPPforGrowthandDevelopment pic.twitter.com/fLJ3rE2I7f
— Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) April 24, 2018
Meghalaya Chief Minister & NPP chief Conrad K. Sangma campaigned for NPP candidate for Williamnagar constituency Marcuise Marak on 23rd April 2018 which goes for by-poll on April 27 2018 along with DC Minister Prestone Tynsong etc.
— MegNIC (@MeghalayaGov) April 24, 2018
## Four companies of central armed police forces have been deployed for the smooth conduct of the elections. There are over 32,000 registered voters in the constituency, of which 16,713 are male voters and 15,632 females.
## Women voters in Garo costumes were seen queueing up at various polling stations across the constituency since morning and shopkeepers are doing brisk business in the vicinity of polling booths.
## Altogether nine candidates are in the fray. Voting will end at 4 pm in all of the 58 polling stations, Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor said.