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72.33% voter turnout in Meghalaya

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, April 19: The fate of Meghalaya’s 10 candidates of parliamentary elections is now sealed in the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
According to figures updated by the Election Department at 7 pm on Friday, the state registered a 72.33 per cent voter turnout. It is expected to increase further and the final figures will be available by Saturday.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Electoral Officer BDR Tiwari said polling was completely peaceful across the state and no report of violence was received.
During the mock poll and the actual poll, 47 ballot units, 54 controlling units and 109 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) were replaced.
For the safe return of the polling parties, the sector magistrates were doing the live tracking of vehicles as well as event tracking.
The voters’ turnout till 7 pm was 71.46 per cent in West Jaintia Hills, 68.64 per cent in Ri-Bhoi, 67.25 per cent in East Khasi Hills, 71.01 per cent in West Khasi Hills, 70.95 per cent in East Garo Hills, 68.18 per cent in West Garo Hills, 72.33 per cent in South Garo Hills, 77.26 per cent in East Jaintia Hills, 79.52 per cent in South West Khasi Hills, 64.60 per cent in North Garo Hills, 81 per cent in South West Garo Hills and 75.70 per cent in Eastern West Khasi Hills.
After the election, the 13 strong rooms — 12 in the headquarters of districts and one in Sohra — will continue to be watched by the Central Armed Police Force. The counting will take place in the 13 centres on June 4.
Stating that the model code of conduct (MCC) will remain in force till all seven phases of the polls are over in the country, Tiwari said the total amount of cash seized was Rs 42,58,000 and liquor seized was of Rs 74 lakh since the MCC came into force.
To a query, he said a screening committee decides the fate of the seizures made.
Violation of election codes
There were multiple violations of the election codes by the electors.
A photo went viral on social media showing HANM leader Lamphrang Kharbani taking a photo of the EVM where he cast his vote for the NPP’s Shillong candidate Ampareen Lyngdoh.
A BJP youth leader posted photos, taken inside a polling station, on his social media account. He was seen wearing a muffler with the BJP’s symbol on it.
Another viral photo showed a person entering a polling station with a “Prah” (winnower), the election symbol of the Voice of the people Party.
Asked for his reactions, the CEO said the matter pertaining to picture of the EVM has come to the election department’s knowledge and the Returning Officer for the Shillong Lok Sabha seat has filed an FIR in this connection.
He said cognizance will be taken as per the ECI guidelines and instructions on all matters found to be in violation of the ECI guidelines.

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