SHILLONG: The stage is set for the Shella bypoll on Monday.
Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Kharkongor said on Sunday that elaborate arrangements have been done for the smooth conduct of bypoll.
All the polling parties have reached the polling stations on Sunday.
Security arrangements have also been done to ensure a free and fair poll.
As many as 29,542 electors in Shella- 14,698 male and 14,844 female- will decide the fate of six candidates in the fray.
Counting of votes will be held on October 24.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of sitting Shella MLA and Assembly Speaker Donkupar Roy on July 28.
The contesting candidates are Roy’s son Balajiedkupar Synrem (UDP), Komen Laitmon and Grace Kharpuri (Independents), Batyngshain Laitmon Ryngnga (Congress), Joshua Warjri (BJP) and Mosjo Rock F. Wanswett(PDF).
(The leaders of several political parties and the independent candidates started the campaign soon after the election date was announced.
For the first time, Shella will go for a green election as the state election machinery has made steps to ensure a plastic-free bypoll.
Saplings will be planted before starting the bypoll on the premises of polling stations.
“There will be symbolic planting of democracy tree before polling in all the 58 polling stations,’’ Kharkongor said.
According to the chief electoral officer, the election department has already replaced all plastic with eco-friendly materials for the Shella bypoll.
“Eco-friendly seed pens will be used by the election officials this time”, Kharkongor said, adding that cloths, bamboo and cane materials instead of plastic flex were set up in the polling stations.
The election department has also roped in green poll volunteers at polling stations to amplify the message and join hands for a green election.
Earlier, the chief electoral officer had urged the political parties to use plastic-free materials during their campaigns.
The first five early voters will be awarded non plastic green medals.
Dalia polling station has the highest number of voters with 961 and the lowest with118 electorate is in Laitduh.
Among the 58 polling stations, there are 12 polling booths which cannot be reached by vehicles, including the famed Nongriat double-decker living root bridge. Kalatek polling station is accessible only by boat.
There are eleven polling stations located within one km of the international border.
They are vulnerable in terms of proximity to Bangladesh border.
The polling parties under ten polling stations travelled through Pynursla to reach the destination and not through Sohra.There used to be high turn-out of voters in the past elections in Sohra.
In the Assembly polls in 2018, the voting percentage was 86.40
However, the turnout in the assembly segment in 2019 for Lok Sabha polls was 66.53 per cent due to the fact that the campaign to the Lok Sabha polls is not as vibrant as the Assembly polls.
Highest number of voters: Dalia with 961
Lowest: Laitduh with118 electorate
Number of polling stations: 58
Inaccessible polling booths by vehicles: 12
Accessible by boat: Kalatek polling station
Polling booths within 1 km of the international border: 11
Polling booth very close to Bangladesh: Dalia
Polling stations to reach through Pynursla: 10
Turn out of voters in 2018 Assembly polls: 85.34 per cent
Percentage in Lok Sabha polls: 66.53
Voting: 7 am to 5 pm