Shillong: Amid massive security arrangements, voters in large numbers have come out openly to exercise their franchise in the by-election for the Shella constituency in Meghalaya on Monday.
Shella recorded an average voter turnout of 55.54% by 2 p.m.
The by-poll was necessitated in the wake of the sudden demise of Speaker and United Democratic Party (UDP) president Donkupar Roy on July 28 this year. Roy had won the Shella seat for seven consecutive terms since 1988.
Voting is being held in 58 booths on Monday and counting will be held on Thursday. The six candidates who are in fray this by-election include: late Donkupar Roy’s son Balajiedkupar Synrem (UDP), Komen Laitmon (Independent), Grace Kharpuri (Independent), Batyngshain Laitmon Ryngnga (Congress), Joshua Warjri (BJP) and Mosjo Rock Wanswett (PDF).
There are 29,763 electorates, including 14,809 men and 14,954 women. Of these, 127 are persons with disabilities and seven service voters. Dalia polling station has the highest number of voters (961), while Laitduh has the least (118). The first five voters who exercise their franchise will be awarded green medals.
In line with several initiatives that have been undertaken all over the country to fight plastic menace, and to opt for eco-friendly alternatives, the Shella bypoll will be one of the first in the state to conduct green election.