SHILLONG, March 10 - Meghalaya�s 36 per cent Assembly constituencies are �expenditure sensitive,� but the Election department said here today it is �poll ready� for the general elections in which the State goes to poll on the first phase on April 11.
Chief Election Officer, Fredrick Roy Kharkongor said here that training of poll officials and police have been undertaken over the past few months and they are ready for the polls.
�We have 22 constituency segments which are expenditure sensitive out of the 60. Expenditure Observers would be coming and together with State officials we would keep a vigil in these constituencies,� Kharkongor said.
Under the Election Commission guidelines, a candidate can spend no more than Rs 70 lakh for the campaign. However, in many parts of Meghalaya money power plays an important role in winning and losing.
On security, the official said that additional forces have been sought although the security scenario in the State is peaceful. �We have sought additional troops for the elections,� an official said.
Khargonkor also informed that all candidates have to file their Income Tax returns for the past five years as per a new notification of the Election Commission. Since Meghalaya falls under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, candidates exempted from Income Tax has to submit an exemption certificate from the IT department.
With the announcement of the poll dates, the model code of conduct has come into force and the State Assembly�s Budget session which is on cannot announce any new programmes and schemes in the Budget presentation, he informed.
There are 19,82,716 voters enrolled as per the final electoral rolls published in January this year. However, since special enrollment drives are on the Election department said an estimated three lakh voters may increase before the polls.
Out of this, total female voters outnumber male voters in which there are 9,36,579 males and 9,56,137 female voters. There are 3167 polling stations in the State.
There are 704 vulnerable and 249 critical polling stations. Another 68 are both vulnerable and critical. While 86 are on the International Indo-Bangla border, 171 are located at the Meghalaya-Assam border.