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Restrictions on poll nominees

- Monday deadline to file papers

Shillong, Feb. 6: Several restrictions have been imposed on candidates and political parties for the polls to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC).

Filing of nomination commenced yesterday and will continue until Monday. Polling will be held on February 24 while the declaration of results will take place on February 27.

Direct elections will be conducted for 29 seats each in the two councils while there is a provision for nominating one member to each of the councils.

To check the possible use of money power in the forthcoming polls, the West Jaintia Hills district administration has prohibited individuals or groups from carrying cash above Rs 50,000.

The order was issued today under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), and will continue to remain in force until the election process is completed.

In East Khasi Hills, the district administration has prohibited writing, pasting of posters or defacement in any form or erecting/displaying of cutouts, hoardings, banners and others. Ri Bhoi district administration has asked candidates and political parties to use loudspeakers for public meetings only from 6am to 10pm.

The major political parties which are in the electoral ring in both the councils include the Congress, United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM).

To keep the Congress, which leads the outgoing executive committees in both the councils, at bay, the KHNAM recently broached the idea of a post-poll alliance with other regional political parties.

While several new faces will participate in the polls, sitting legislators H.D.R. Lyngdoh, Pynshngainlang N. Syiem, Sanbor Shullai, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, Titosstarwell Chyne, Remington Pyngrope, Metbah Lyngdoh, H. Brolding Nongsiej, and K.P. Pangniang will contest the KHADC polls. However, no sitting legislator from the Jaintia Hills region is vying for the JHADC elections.

The elections to the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) has been kept on hold pending clearance from the Union cabinet on the proposed hike of seats as per the draft text of settlement with the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC).

The ANVC had demanded a hike from the existing 30 seats to 40 in the GHADC.