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Demand in Meghalaya for change in poll rolls

Shillong, Jan. 2: Pressure groups in Meghalaya will demand from the Election Commission an alteration of guidelines on voters’ registration so that “foreigners” do not find a place in the electoral roll.

Last year, the state witnessed a brief period of turmoil when pressure groups, including the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) and the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF), demanded that the state government put an end to enrolment of voters.

This time, the three pressure groups will impress upon the Election Commission team, which will be coming here on Monday, on the need to alter the voters’ registration guidelines.

“We want to meet the Election Commission team and demand from them that the guidelines on voters’ registration be changed in order to ensure that illegal migrants do not find room in the electoral roll,” KSU general secretary Auguster Jyrwa told this correspondent.

He said the commission needs to alter the guidelines keeping in mind the geographical location of Meghalaya which shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh in the south and through which largescale migration takes place.

“Last year we had agitated, but the government was helpless, citing the commission’s guidelines. Now, we will demand a change of those guidelines as the state’s location does not permit us to have weak safeguards,” Jyrwa added.

The commission will come here to review the state’s preparedness for the Assembly polls, particularly from the law and order perspective, keeping in mind the restive Garo hills region.

The polls are scheduled to be held in February-March.