Meghalaya bypolls: 48% turnout recorded till 1 p.m.

The Assembly seats going to polls are Mawryngkneng, Mawphlang and Rajabala

Voting for bypolls to three assembly seats in Meghalaya has been peaceful so far, with an average of around 48% turnout recorded till 1 pm on Saturday, Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor said.

He also stated that the poll percentage is expected to improve in the second half of the day.

"Until 1 pm, around 48 per cent of over one lakh eligible voters in the three constituencies cast their ballots. Voting picked up around noon and we are expecting the turnout to improve in the second half of the day,” the CEO told PTI.

No report of any untoward incident has been reported from anywhere, he said.

Mawryngkneng, with 60 polling stations, registered 44.1% voting till 1 pm, while Mawphlang, with 50 booths, recorded 45.3% voting.

Rajabala, with 58 polling stations, logged the highest turnout at 55%.

Thirteen candidates are in the fray for the bypolls to the three seats.

In Mawryngkneng, KHADC chairman Pyniaid Sing Syiem, a candidate of the ruling National People’s Party (NPP), has locked horns with Congress nominee Highlander Kharmalki and three Independent candidates– Esron Marwein, Arbiangkam Kharsohmat and Norbert Marboh.

Former national footballer Eugeneson Lyngdoh is contesting the election from Mawphlang on a United Democratic Party (UDP) ticket. He is up against former Congress MLA Kennedy C Khyriem and a sitting member of district council (MDC) from the NPP, Lamphrang Blah.

In Rajabala constituency, Congress nominee Hashina Yasmin Mondal is looking to retain the seat, having crossed her swords with former legislator and sitting MDC of the UDP, D Shira, and three others — MD Abdus Saleh of the NPP, Kingston B Marak of the BJP and Independent candidate Carla R Sangma.

Bypolls were necessitated in the three seats following the death of sitting MLAs.

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