SHILLONG, April 10 - Every minute preparation has been made by the State Election Department for the smooth conduct of polls to the two Parliamentary constituencies � Shillong and Tura � tomorrow, in which over 19 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) FR Kharkongor said that 12,668 polling personnel had already left for their respective polling stations. There are 3,167 polling stations under the two constituencies. �Polling will begin at 7 am and end at 4 pm tomorrow,� the CEO said.
As many as 2,053 polling stations have been set up for the Shillong constituency and 1,114 for Tura. There are 417 vulnerable polling stations and 107 critical polling stations in the State, Kharkongor added.
EVMs and VVPAT machines will be used in all the polling stations. Moreover, there will be at least one model and all-women polling station in all the 60 constituencies of the State.
For the smooth and peaceful conduct of the polls, 40 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed along with 900 police personnel. For additional security, CCTVs have been installed. Webcasting will be conducted at several polling stations.
�We are expecting a peaceful election. Our biggest challenge this time is the weather over which we have no control. However, we have made tentative arrangements to tackle the inclement weather,� he added.
Out of the 19,14,795 voters, female voters stand at 9,65,174, outnumbering the male voters who stand at 9,49,621. There are over 80,000 first-time voters in the electoral rolls.
In terms of the two constituencies, there are 11,97,806 voters in Shillong. In Tura, there are 7,16,989 voters. The Shillong constituency has 36 Assembly segments, while Tura has 24.
Nine candidates are in the fray for the two seats. In Shillong, the contest is among sitting Congress MP Vincent H Pala, Jemino Mawthoh of the UDP and Sanbor Shullai of the BJP. Three Independent candidates are also contesting from the seat.
In Tura, the fight is among Agatha Sangma of the NPP, Mukul Sangma of the Congress and Rikamn G Momin of the BJP.