Countdown for Meghalaya Assembly polls begins; key issues that might decide the elections tomorrow

Countdown for Meghalaya Assembly polls begins; key issues that might decide the elections tomorrow

Polling will be held at 3,419 polling stations across 59 Assembly constituencies in the state

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, February 26, 2023, 10:54 AM IST
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Countdown for Meghalaya Assembly polls begins; key issues that might decide the polls tomorrow | ANI

After the high-pitched election campaigning, Meghalaya is prepared to choose its political future in the Assembly elections that will take place on Monday.

Polling will be held at 3,419 polling stations across 59 Assembly constituencies in the state. On Monday, voting will start at 7 am and last until 4 pm.

Of Meghalaya's 60 Assembly districts, 36 are in the Khasi, Jaintia Hills region and 24 are in the Garo Hills region.

However, polling for the Sohiong Assembly constituency was delayed following the demise of the state's former Home minister and United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate from the seat, HDR Lyngdoh.

More female voters

This year, there are over 21 lakh (21,75,236) eligible voters who are registered, with 10.99 lakh women and 10.68 lakh men. In Meghalaya, there are more female voters than male voters.

In the state, there are roughly 81,000 first-time voters. There are 369 candidates in total, 36 of whom are female. 44 of the total number of candidates are running as Independents.

Illegal coal mining and unemployment

Illegal coal mining in the Jaintia and Khasi Hills could also influence the results of this year's elections.

Unemployment is a common complaint and demand among young people when it comes to important polling concerns. In their manifestos, each party pledged to create jobs and chances for elections.

Inner line permit

The long-standing NPP demand for an Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Meghalaya was used as a weapon against the BJP.

An Inner Line Permit is an official travel document given by a state government that allows a national to enter a protected area for a certain period of time.

Christian votes

Christian votes also are very important in Meghalaya politics this year, particularly in the Khasi Hills region.

Meghalaya BJP head Ernest Mawrie said on Friday that if the BJP wins power in the poll-bound state, there will be no restrictions on people consuming beef.

Mawrie told ANI that Meghalaya is a Christian-majority state and if BJP comes to power, it would ensure more security to Christians.

"We will not impose any restriction on consuming beef in Meghalaya. If we will form the government, then it will be better for Meghalaya. We will give full protection to the Christians of Meghalaya. Eating habit is our culture, BJP will not impose any restrictions on them. Many of us eat pork, beef, chicken, and fish. There is no problem with our party. We have not held any discussions on this. There will be no restriction," Mawrie said.

To ensure free and fair elections, the Election Commission has banned exit polls in Meghalaya from 7 am on Friday to 7 pm on the polling day ie February 27.

The counting of votes will be done on March 2

(With ANI inputs)

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