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Meghalaya: Over 80% votes cast in Chokpot by-polls

Meghalaya: Over 80% votes cast in Chokpot by-polls

Over 80 per cent votes were cast in the by-poll in Chokpot Assembly constituency in Meghalaya's South Garo Hills district

Shillong: Over 80 per cent votes were cast in the by-poll in Chokpot Assembly constituency in Meghalaya's South Garo Hills district on Saturday amid tight security.

Returning Officer Tangseng G Momin said, "at least 80 per cent of the voters have casted their votes but the percentage could go up as communication with remote polling booths not been established."

Voting picked up in the afternoon hours as until about noon time, only 35 per cent turned up, he said.

There was no report of any untoward incident during the hours of the poll and voting has been peaceful, he said.

A little over 24,000 electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise to elect one out of the four candidates in the fray for the seat which fell vacant after the demise of Garo National Council leader Clifford Marak earlier in 2015.

His widow Kalpana Sangma is a front runner for the seat even as another widow, Bluebell R Sangma, wife of former

legislator Mason S Sangma, also remained in the fray contesting on a Congress ticket.

The other two candidates include National Peoples' Party candidate Phillipole D Marak and an Independent contestant TR Marak.

Over 800 additional para military personnel were pressed into service to ensure that the by-elections were held under peaceful conditions in the 'hyper sensitive' Chokpot constituency.

Out of 46 polling stations, 44 are tagged as hypersensitive and sensitive on account of militancy.

first published:June 27, 2015, 19:24 IST