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Polling begins peacefully in Meghalaya


Shillong, Polling began peacefully for the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly at around 0700 hrs on Tuesday morning. However, election to one seat – Willimnagar Assembly constituency in East Garo Hills – was countermanded following the killing of Nationalist Congress Party candidate Jonathone Sangma. The Election Commission is yet to fix the date for polling in Williamnagar Assembly constituency.Initially, the voter turnout was sparse due to the chilly weather. "They will come out later in the afternoon," said Joseph, a Congress worker, manning a stall outside a polling station in Don Bosco Sqaure. Altogether, 60 poll observers, including 18 from police, have been deployed in their respective zones to oversee the smooth conduct of polls.As many as 106 companies of central armed police force have been deployed to ensure an incident-free polling during the state's eighth Assembly election. The Border Security Force had also tightened vigil across the state's international border with Bangladesh.Polling would be webcast at many booths. It will be manned by all womenfolks for the first time in Meghalaya's election history. Altogether, 340 polling stations are identified as critical and 580 as vulnerable.Moreover, in all the polling stations, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be used in all the polling stations. Special ramps were also erected for the physically challenged in all the polling booths.

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