13 counting centres in state, CAPF to be deployed: Meghalaya's Chief Electoral Officer

Meghalaya's Chief Electoral Officer said on Friday that there will be 13 counting centres in the state.

 13 counting centres in state, CAPF to be deployed: Meghalaya's Chief Electoral Officer

Shillong: Meghalaya's Chief Electoral Officer, FR Kharkongor, said on Friday that there will be 13 counting centres in the state and the counting of votes will begin at 8 am on Saturday.

Close 8-10 rounds of counting will be for the smaller constituency and about 13-14 rounds of counting for the bigger constituency, he said.

Kharkongor added that postal ballots will be counted in the first round and as many as 11 companies of CAPF will be deployed for counting day.

He added that additional 6 companies of CAPF will be deployed for sensitive areas of Garo Hills and each company of CAPF will guard strong rooms.

Also, webcasting will be carried out at all counting centres.

Meghalaya had used VVPATs for the first time during this elections. VVPAT slips will be counted together alongside EVMs.

Counting of votes cast in the Assembly elections in three Northeastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland will be taken up on Saturday.

Polling was held for 59 of 60 Assembly seats in each of the three states for different reasons. Tripura went to the polls on February 18 while elections in Meghalaya and Nagaland were held on February 27.

Despite large-scale snags in EVMs and VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) over 92 percent (excluding 50,770 postal ballots) of Tripura`s 2,536,589 voters cast their votes in a peaceful election. 

Balloting in the Charilam (reserved for the tribals) has been deferred to March 12 after the death of a CPI-M candidate.

The ruling CPI-M has fielded 56 candidates, leaving one seat each to its Left Front partners - the Communist Party of India, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is contesting in 50 seats and left nine seats for its ally, the Indigenous People`s Front of Tripura (IPFT).

The Congress fielded candidates for all 59 constituencies but one of its candidates withdrew his nomination and joined the BJP. The Trinamool Congress has fielded 24 candidates.

In Meghalaya, which saw around 84 percent voting, the contest involves the ruling Congress, BJP, National People`s Party (NPP) and the newly floated People`s Democratic Front.

Polling in Williamnagar constituency of the state was countermanded following the death of Nationalist Congress Party candidate in an IED blast. 

In Nagaland, the BJP is contesting the polls in alliance with the newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the two are contesting 20 and 40 seats respectively.

The voting in the state was held in 59 of the total 60 constituencies as three-time Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDDP) has been declared elected unopposed from Northern Angami-II constituency.

(With IANS inputs)