UDP writes to Election Commission for holding simultaneous by-polls

SHILLONG, Jul 24: The United Democratic Party (UDP) has written to the Election Commission of India (ECI)to hold simultaneous by-polls in South Tura and Ranikor.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), the UDP said that it is felt that since the two constituencies are vacant in the state of Meghalaya, it would be advisable to hold the elections simultaneously.

The UDP which is a partner in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), the ruling coalition with said that holding simultaneous polls in the constituencies will leave no chances for political influences and manipulation.

“… holding in place the Commission’s advocacy of free and fair elections,” the UDP stated in the letter to the ECI.

It may be mentioned that on Monday, the ECI announced the date for the South Tura by-poll. The by-poll for the South Tura seat which was vacant after Agatha K Sangma resigned earlier this month will vote again on August 23 and the counting will be held on August 27.

The UDP pointed out that Ranikor which has also been vacated, following the resignation of elected MLA Martin M Danggo on June 21, the notification for the election date is yet to be announced by the Election Commission.

The letter signed by UDP general secretary, Jemino Mawthoh also states that the announcement by the ECI for holding the by-poll only to the South Tura seat was “surprising”.

“Considering the case of Ranikor constituency, where the MLA had resigned much earlier (June 21), and till date, no announcement for the election was made. Whereas for South Tura constituency, the MLAresigned at a much later date (July 2) but notification for the election date has already been issued by the Election Commission,” Mawthoh said in the letter to the ECI.

The UDP also stated that same election date for both the above constituencies, so as to ensure free and fair polls which would augur well for the people of the state of Meghalaya and would leave no room for casting aspersions.

“Further, we find no justification to hold the elections on separate polling dates for the two constituencies. As a matter of fact, the Ranikor constituency deserves earlier election than South Tura constituency since the people of Ranikor has been without an elected representatives much earlierthan South Tura,” the UDP said.

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