28 percent voting till 11 in Meghalaya

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Tura (Meghalaya), May 16 (IANS) Twenty-eight per cent polling was recorded in the first four hours of voting in by-election to the Lok Sabha from Tura in Meghalaya.

Despite gloomy weather, voters queued up in 945 polling booths across the five districts of Garo Hills region.

The by-election was necessitated following the demise of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma on March 4.

Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Kharkongor told IANS that polling was going on smoothly.

There were technical glitches in eight EVMs, which were quickly replaced.

Sangma’s youngest son Conrad K. Sangma is the NPP’s main candidate against Congress entrant Dikkanchi D. Shira, wife of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma. Shira is also a member of the 60-member Meghalaya assembly.

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“I am happy a large number of people are coming out to elect their new representative to the Lok Sabha,” Conrad told IANS after voting at Gondog in Selsella assembly segment.

“We are positive the voters will elect me as their Lok Sabha representative as a tribute to my late father, Purno A. Sangma,” he added.

Conrad, who has earned the support of the BJP and regional parties like the United Democratic Party (UDP), is a former Meghalaya finance minister and opposition leader in the state assembly.

Since 1977 and until his demise on March 4 this year, with the exception of 1989 and 2009, the late Purno Sangma was the representative from Tura Lok Sabha seat — for nine terms.

The Tura Lok Sabha seat, which covers 24 assembly segments, has 622,189 voters – 315,255 males and 306,934 females.

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