By Shailesh Yadav

Shillong (Meghalaya) [India], April 13 (ANI): The Chief Electoral Officer of Meghalaya, BDR Tiwari on Saturday expressed confidence that the state will surpass all previous voter turnout percentages in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

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Meghalaya is set to vote for its two Lok Sabha seats, Shillong and Tura, in the first phase of polling on April 19. The state has a total of 22.27 lakh voters, with female voters outnumbering males, totalling 11.27 lakh compared to 11 lakh male voters.

The CEO of Meghalaya mentioned that the last Lok Sabha election in 2019 witnessed a 71.42 per cent voter turnout but this time around, they anticipate around "80 per cent voting in Meghalaya".

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Tiwari emphasized that this expectation stems from their extensive outreach across the state, encouraging people to come out and vote on April 19. They've conducted outreach programs involving youth and Village Durbar, and they've planned a tree plantation program to motivate voters. The first male and female voters at each polling station will participate in tree planting.

In preparation for a free, fair, and peaceful election, Meghalaya has deployed 40 companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces and state police personnel at 29 critical and 477 vulnerable polling stations. The state has a total of 3,512 polling stations, with 140 bordering Bangladesh and 187 bordering Assam. As of April 11, seizures worth Rs 44 crore have been made, with 11,000 arms deposited after the Model Code of Conduct came into force.

In Shillong (ST), the candidates include Vincent Pala from the Indian National Congress, Ampareen Lyngdoh from the National People's Party (NPP), Robertjune Kharjahrin from the United Democratic Party (UDP), and Ricky AJ Syngkon from the Voter's Party of India (VPP).

In Tura (ST), candidates include Saleng A Sangma from the Indian National Congress, Agatha Sangma from the National People's Party (NPP), and Zenith Sangma from the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).

Key political parties and alliances in Meghalaya include the INDIA bloc represented by the Indian National Congress, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and the Regional Democratic Alliance. Meghalaya will witness a multi-cornered contest for its two Lok Sabha seats, with 10 candidates vying for victory. The BJP has chosen not to contest to keep the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) votes unified. (ANI)

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