Vote counting in Tura by-poll in Meghalaya on May 19

Shillong, May 18 (IANS) Counting of votes cast in the by-election to the Lok Sabha from Tura constituency in Meghalaya will be taken up on Thursday amid surveilance by closed-circuit TV cameras, an Election Commission official said.

“All arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of counting from 8 a.m. onwards at five counting centres,” Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Kharkongor told IANS here on Wednesday.

Over 77.66 percent of the 6,22,189 voters cast their votes at 945 polling booths across five districts of Garo Hills in the western part of Meghalaya on May 16.

All electronic voting machines have been kept under tight security ever since the polling day, officials said.

The by-poll in Tura was necessitated by the death of former Lok Sabha speaker Purno A. Sangma on March 4, who was member of the house.

Sangma’s youngest son Conrad K. Sangma of the National People’s Party (NPP) is pitted against Congress nominee Dikkanchi D. Shira, wife of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.

Shira said: “I am quite confident of winning the by-election due to the good work of the Congress government in the state.” She is a legislator in Meghalaya.

Conrad said: “I am sure it will be a positive result in NPP’s favour. People of Garo Hills came out in large numbers to cast their votes as a tribute to my late father for his contribution to the Garo community and India as a whole.”

The late Sangma represented Tura constituency for nine terms since 1977 till his demise on March 4 this year, with the exception of 1989 and 2009.

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