16.5 per cent polling in Meghalaya till 9.30 am

About 16.5 per cent polling was recorded in the first two-and-a-half hours of voting for the Meghalaya Assembly today, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the state F R Kharkongor said.

Polling had started at 7 am, but due to the malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, it got delayed in some booths, the CEO said.

No incidents of violence were reported from anywhere in the state, he added.

Voting is being held in 59 seats of the 60-member Assembly as the election in Williamnagar in East Garo Hills district has been postponed, following the killing of NCP candidate Jonathane N Sangma in an IED blast on February 18.

Women voters in colourful tribal attires were seen queueing up at the polling stations since morning.

Polling will be held till 4 pm across the state.

The CEO said a total 106 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), along with the state armed personnel and police, were deployed across the state, especially in the troubled Garo Hills region.

Today's polling will decide the fate of 361 candidates, including 31 women and 80 Independents, election office sources said, adding that 18.09 lakh voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in 3,025 polling stations in the state.

For the first time, 67 all-women polling stations and 61 model polling stations were set up in the state, the CEO said.

State Director General of Police (DGP) S B Singh said 580 polling stations were categorised as "vulnerable" and that strict security measures were in place across Meghalaya to ensure a free-and-fair election.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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