Shella witnesses 84.56 pc turnout

Shella witnesses 84.56 pc turnout

SHILLONG: The Shella bypoll witnessed 84.56 per cent voter turnout on Monday, which is marginally less than the last election.
Of the total 29,790 electors in Shella, 25,191 turned up for the polling that was from 7am to 5pm. The afternoon rain hindered polling for some time but it picked up soon after the rain stopped. In the last Assembly election in 2018, the polling percentage was 85.34.
At Laitjem, the VVPAT machine failed and had to be replaced, Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Kharkongor told reporters on Monday.
The total number of male and female voters was 12,631 and 12,560, respectively.
There was heavy polling in non-tribal dominated Ichamati and Hat Majai areas as there were long queues from early morning.
There were two all-woman polling stations and one eco-friendly and PwD (Persons with Disabilities) booth each. Poll and green volunteers were seen helping voters, especially the elderly and PwD electors.
Among the 58 polling stations, there were 12 polling booths which could not be reached by vehicles, including the famed Nongriat double-decker living root bridge. Kalatek polling station was accessible only by boat.
Dalia polling station was in the extreme Indo-Bangladesh border.
Kharkongor said the bypoll was peaceful though eleven polling booths were vulnerable.
Though there was no cash seizure, 8,23.67 liters of liquor worth over Rs 1 lakh were seized in the run-upto the bypoll.

A man gets his finger inked at a polling booth in Sohra on Monday.


Skylo a success
Skylo, a satellite-based application that was used for the first time this bypoll for receiving real-time messages from remote places, was a hit.
Kharkongor said messages were received on time and faster than information from areas with mobile connectivity.
Highest and lowest
The highest polling percentage was in Tynriang polling station with 92.92 and the lowest was in MSEB-MCCL polling station (47.37 per cent).
Counting
After the successful bypoll, preparations are on for counting of votes on Thursday.
There will be three-tier security for the counting of votes to be held at the office of Sub Divisional Officer, Sohra.
The chief electoral officer said he will visit Sohra on Tuesday in connection with the preparations for counting of votes.
Sixth bypoll for CEO
From 2018, the chief electoral officer handled six bypolls with the latest being Shella.
There was a deferred election in Williamnagar followed by bypolls in Ampati, Ranikor, Tura and Selsella.
The Shella 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).