SHILLONG, April 7 - The indelible ink, the proud hallmark of the Indian democracy, also seems to be the mark of election fatigue in Khasi-Jaintia Hills with electorates still sporting the ink on their left index finger.
The voters have recently witnessed a hectic Autonomous District Council election in the Khasi-Jaintia region. Political parties went all out during the elections to woo the voters.
The gruelling and colourful campaigning spanned close to a month and the polls was held on February 27 and the ink on the voters� left index fingers has not faded away.
The result of these polls was declared on March 2 and the formation of the Council also took about a week. As the Members of the District Council and voters settled in, the notification of the Lok Sabha elections was announced.
Over the past few weeks, going by the response of the electorates in public rallies of political parties in Khasi-Jaintia Hills, there is a clear lack of enthusiasm among the voters this time.
Most rallies of political parties, be it the Congress, UDP or BJP, the response so far has not been encouraging from the public with empty chairs. Political parties therefore have been holding small rallies and even in these rallies the response has been poor.
Only the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance organised the biggest rally so far at the Polo Grounds here recently. There were about 3,000 chairs placed, but these weren�t totally filled.
Traditionally, voters have shown their apathy towards the Parliamentary elections in the State. But during this election the apathy has definitely increased.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the voters� turnout was 68.79 per cent while the Assembly election turnout has always been over 80 per cent and was no different during the 2018 Assembly elections.
With just three days left before electorates presses the buttons on the EVMs to elect their candidate for the Shillong Lok Sabha seat, there is no wave in favour of any particular candidate.
The fight is between sitting Congress candidate, Vincent H Pala, the UDP�s Jemino Mawthoh, BJP�s Sanbor Shullai and three Independents.
To make matters worse, there have been no star campaigners for either the Congress or the BJP. Congress president Rahul Gandhi was supposed to be in the State capital, but he too cancelled his visit.
Meanwhile, the Election department would have to come up with a notification which finger the voters would be inked. With the index finger already marked either the middle finger or the ring finger would be inked.