SHILLONG, Sept 14 - Meghalaya Government today notified the complete schedule for conduct of elections to the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
The last date for filing of nominations would be September 21 before 3 pm. Thereafter, on the same day, the scrutiny of nomination papers would be done after 3 pm, the notification issued today said.
The last date for withdrawal of nomination would be September 24 and the date of finalisation and publication of valid nomination and allocation of symbol is September 26. Polling would be held on October 12 from 7 am to 4 pm and date of counting has been fixed on October 15.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary PBO Warjri has taken stock of the security scenario in the region ahead of the elections. Recently, he held a high-level meeting with senior officials of Home department and others in Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills.
There is also the raging controversy in the region regarding non-tribals taking part in the elections. In the Khasi and Jaintia district councils, non-tribals are not allowed to take part in the elections, but in Garo Hills, due to prevailing Rules in the Council, such exceptions have continued for years.
However, several NGOs are opposed to non-tribals taking part in the elections and therefore the Chief Secretary holding the review meeting in Garo Hills gains significance.
Meanwhile, Warjri advised the officers conducting the election to strictly follow the Model Code of Conduct in line with the Election Commission of India.
With regard to polling stations close to Assam, Warjri directed concerned Deputy Commissioners to seek assistance from the Assam Government few days prior to the polls.
He further highlighted the challenges of Garo Hills, having inter-State boundary with Assam and international border with Bangladesh. He said the security forces must be vigilant against militants and anti-socials for the smooth conduct of the polls.