Campaigning for Tura by-polls ends today

SHILLONG: The campaign to the May 16 by poll to Tura Lok Sabha seat will end on Saturday 4 pm.
The seat fell vacant following the demise of the sitting member PA Sangma on March 4.
With a day left for the campaign, the candidates of both NPP and Congress Conrad Sangma and Dikkanchi Shira respectively  are making last ditch efforts to woo the voters in the run-upto the polls.
In all 24 Assembly constituencies which constitute Tura Lok Sabha seat, there are a total   622189 voters (315255 male and 306934 female).
While Conrad is banking on sympathy highlighting the need to complete the unfinished task of his late father, the focal point of Congress is the overall development initiatives of the party.
The Congress also concentrated on attacking BJP during the campaign as the NPP had tied up with the saffron party.
The FIR lodged against Dikkanchi  by the Returning Officer for her alleged hate speech against BJP and seizure of over Rs 16 lakh seized in West Garo Hills were the only aberrations in an otherwise peaceful campaign.
While there were many star campaigners from Delhi for the NPP candidate, the Chief Minister  Mukul Sangma, the Cabinet Ministers, Congress legislators and independent legislators  who were supporting the Congress  were mainly campaigning for the Congress candidate in the absence of any star campaigners from Delhi.
Despite the presence of GNLA, there was no disturbance to the campaign by the militants in Garo Hills.
The efforts of the police in effecting the surrender of many GNLA cadres were aimed at ensuring a peaceful by poll. The Chief Electoral Frederick Kharkongor said on Friday that all arrangements have been made to ensure a peaceful poll in Garo Hills.   Among the total 945 polling stations, 410 are hyper sensitive and more than half of them are vulnerable due to militancy related incidents.
There are 126 polling stations which are sensitive due to the possibility of group clashes and political rivalries. The remaining 409 polling stations have been categorized as normal. Kharkongor said that the union ministry of home affairs has sanctioned 12 companies of central para military forces to ensure law and order during the by poll.

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