SHILLONG, Mar 10: The Election Commission of India has announced a seven-phased Lok Sabha election in the country.
Meghalaya which sends two Members of Parliament (MP) to the Lok Sabha will go to poll in the first phase on April 11 along with 91 other constituencies all over the country even as the bye-election for the Selsella Assembly seat which fell vacant after the demise of the sitting Congress legislator, Clement Marak last year will also be held simultaneously.
Addressing media persons in Shillong on Sunday evening after the election dates were announced by the Election Commission of India in New Delhi, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Fredrick Roy Kharkongor informed that there has been an increase of 3, 26, 896 electorates since the 2014 Lok Sabha.
According to Kharkongor, the number of electorates in the last Lok Sabha polls in 2014 was 15, 65, 820 while in 2019, the numbers of voters are 18, 46, 625, which can change since the enrolment process will be till March 25, the last date of filing of nominations. He also informed that the number of female electorates outnumber the males in the state.
The Meghalaya, CEO informed that out of the 18, 46, 625 electorates, 9, 36, 579 are males while 9, 56, 137 are females. The number of electorates in the 2018 Assembly elections was 18, 42, 163.
Kharkongor also pointed out that out of the 18, 46, 625 electorates as per the final rolls published on January 17 this year, 76, 782 electorates belong to the 18-19 year category.
The CEO also said that out of the 60 Assembly constituencies 22 seats are “expenditure sensitive” – which means that the state Election department foresee that cash may be used to influence voters in such places.
“We have shared the details of such constituencies with the Income Tax officials and the police,” Kharkongor informed.
There are a total of 3167 polling stations spread all over the state out of which 704 are vulnerable polling stations, 249 are critical polling stations and 68 are both critical and vulnerable polling stations.
He also said that 86 polling stations are along the international border with Bangladesh and 171 are along the inter-state border with Assam.
The CEO also informed that cVIGIL App- which will provide time stamped evidentiary proof of model code of conduct / Expenditure Violation, having live photo/video with auto location data will go live from Sunday.
Kharkongor also said that for the benefit of visually impaired voters during the Lok Sabha polls, Braille ballot paper and Braille voter slips will be provided for such electorates. According to him there are 4932 physically challenged people who are enrolled as electorates.
Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police, H Nongpluh informed that the state has flagged the requirement of security forces to the Ministry of Home Affairs based on its exercise of identifying the vulnerable areas.