Meghalaya Assembly elections tomorrow, fierce battle in 5 constituencies likely
Meghalaya is all set to vote in the Assembly elections on Monday to seal the political fate of 369 candidates. This year's polls will witness candidates from multiple parties, including the ruling National People's Party (NPP), Congress, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) also entering the fray. Before the polling day, here's all you need to know about key constituencies.
Why does this story matter?
- More than 21 lakh voters across 59 poll-bound constituencies in Meghalaya will decide the state's political future on Monday.
- Voting at 3,419 polling stations is scheduled to start at 7 am and will go on till 4 pm on Monday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) earlier announced.
- Meanwhile, the counting of votes is scheduled to take place on March 2.
Battle for Sutnga Saipung
Meghalaya's Sutnga Saipung constituency is considered a crucial seat, with Congress's state chief Vincent Pala contesting from here for the first time. His performance in the polls could also have a major impact on the state's political landscape. The current Shillong MP will be up against the BJP's Krison Langstang, NPP's Santa Mary Shylla, and United Democratic Party's (UDP) incumbent MLA Shitlang Pale.
Mukul Sangma eyes Songsak and Tikrikilla
The Songsak and Tikrikilla constituencies will see former Congress leader and ex-CM Mukul Sangma contesting on a TMC ticket. In Tikrikilla, Sangma will be up against Congress's Dr. Kapin Ch. Boro, NPP's incumbent MLA Jimmy D Sangma, UDP's Julius T Sangma, and BJP's Rahinath Barchung Rabha. He will face BJP's Thomas N Marak, NPP's Nihim D Shira, and Congress's Champion R Sangma in Songsak.
Fierce contest in West Shillong
Next up on the list of key constituencies is West Shillong, where the BJP has decided to field its state chief Ernest Mawrie. Mawrie will be up against the ruling NPP candidate Mohendro Rapsang and the TMC's Iwan Maria for the seat. To note, the BJP state chief is one of the most recognized faces of the saffron brigade in Meghalaya.
Conrad Sangma's South Tura tussle
In the much-anticipated battle of South Tura, the contest is between the BJP's Bernard N Marak and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma. Meanwhile, the Congress has fielded Brenzield Ch. Marak for this constituency.
900 polling stations identified as vulnerable, critical in Meghalaya
There are 60 Meghalaya Assembly seats, but polling will be conducted only for 59 as the Sohiong constituency in East Khasi Hills district was adjourned following the death of UDP candidate HDR Lyngdoh. Moreover, out of the 3,419 booths, 640 have been recognized as vulnerable, and 323 others have been identified as critical. Meanwhile, 84 booths have been identified as both vulnerable and critical.
Details on Nagaland Assembly polls
Not only in Meghalaya, but the people in Nagaland will also be voting to elect a new Assembly on Monday, with the counting of votes scheduled for March 2. In this year's polls, the main focus is on four candidates who are likely to make history by becoming the first-ever women to be constitutionally elected as legislators in the state.
Know about 4 female nominees in Nagaland
In Nagaland, the four female nominees contesting are Congress's Rosy Thompson contesting from Tening, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party's (NDPP) Salhoutuonuo from Western Angami, BJP's Kahuli Sema from Atoizu, and NDPP's Hekhani Jakhalu from Dimapur-III. Interestingly, out of Nagaland's total electorate of 13,17,632, the number of women voters is 6,56,143 (49.8%). There are a total of 183 candidates in the fray for 60 Assembly seats.
BJP seek to improve tally in ruling coalition in Nagaland
Nagaland's ruling alliance of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) is formed by the NDPP (to which CM Neiphiu Rio belongs), the Naga People's Front (NPF), and the BJP. During the previous polls in the state, the NPF bagged 26 seats, while the NDPP and the BJP secured 18 and 12 seats, respectively. This time, the coalition will once look to increase its tally.