Over 67 per cent of the 19.14 lakh voters of Meghalaya exercised their franchise in the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday amid reports of malfunctioning of voting machines from some booths, state Chief Electoral Officer Fredrick Roy Kharkongor said. Meghalaya has two Lok Sabha constituencies - Shillong and Tura - and polling was peaceful in both the seats, he said.
The CEO said an FIR was lodged against BJP’s Shillong candidate Sanbor Shullai for talking to media persons within the premises of a polling station when voting is on, flouting Election Commission rules.
“The poll percentage has been recorded at 67.03 per cent as per inputs received from 2,500 of the 3617 polling stations,” Kharkongor said in a press conference here.
He said information is awaited from other polling stations due to various reasons including network connectivity and the voting percentage may go up after getting the final figures.
In the 2014 general election, the overall voter turnout was 68 per cent. The turnout in Shillong constituency was registered at 63.56 per cent of 11,95,662 voters and for Tura, it is 75.60 per cent of 7,15,707 voters.
Some EVMs malfunctioned due to VVPATs but the problem was effectively resolved and polling went off smoothly, Kharkongor said. “We have 1.86 per cent of VVPAT malfunction which is much below the pan India average at 3 per cent,” he said. Counting will he held on May 23.
Meanwhile, the CEO said a complaint has been registered under the Representative People’s Act against Shullai for misconduct.
The FIR filed by the returning officer of Shillong constituency and the presiding officer concerned of Sankerdev College said the candidate addressed a group of media persons within the premises of the polling station.
Shullai told reporters that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will not be implemented in the North East as long as he is alive. The BJP leader threatened to commit suicide if bill is implemented in the state.