Last Updated: February 26, 2023, 11:01 IST
Election officials started reaching the booths across Meghalaya, trekking steep mountainous paths, crossing muddy rivers and walking for hours as the state prepares for the February 27 polls.
A total of 3,419 polling teams have been deployed for the elections to the 59 assembly seats, Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor told PTI.
“Total 974 teams left for their polling booths on Saturday. Till 9.30 pm, braving unfriendly terrains and water bodies, 893 polling teams reported that they reached their destinations,” he said.
The polling teams are trekking steep mountain paths, crossing muddy rivers, transcending difficult terrains — in some areas through ropeways, to reach their destinations, he said.
Election officials had to row a boat to reach the Amlarem constituency’s Kamsing polling station which has only 35 voters, Kharkongor said.
Some teams even used traditional Khasi basket ‘khoh’ to carry the EVMs and other polling materials to ensure that “no voter is left behind”, he said.
The election officials sent to the Rongcheng polling station in Rongara Siju constituency in South Garo Hills had to trek for eight hours to reach. Some other teams also trekked for around four hours to reach their destination, he said.
The remaining 2,445 polling teams will be leaving for their booths on Sunday, a day before the voting, he added.
The Meghalaya assembly has 60 seats, but polling for the Sohiong constituency in East Khasi Hills district was adjourned due to the death of UDP candidate HDR Lyngdoh.
Of the total 3,419 booths, 640 have been identified as vulnerable. A total of 323 booths have been identified as critical while 84 booths are both critical and vulnerable.
A total of 369 candidates are contesting the elections, the votes for which will be counted on March 2.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)