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200 dist council poll booths hypersensitive

Shillong, Feb. 13: Over 200 polling stations have been identified as “hypersensitive”, while over 390 have been declared “sensitive” for polls to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council in Meghalaya on February 24.

The Khasi council, with 1,148 polling stations, comprises of four districts and two sub-divisions, while the Jaintia council, with 344 polling stations, has two districts and one sub-division.

The Khasi council has 146 hypersensitive and 265 sensitive polling stations while there are 65 hypersensitive and 133 sensitive booths in the Jaintia hills council. East Khasi Hills has the highest number of hypersensitive booths — 68.

However, the state government will not ask for additional forces for the elections, commissioner and secretary (district council affairs), Jopthiaw Lyngdoh, told reporters here today. He said the existing security forces with the aid of around 1,000 homeguards are adequate enough for poll duty.

There will be 212 candidates for the two councils, of which 14 are women. Altogether 123 candidates are contesting 29 seats in the Khasi council, of which 12 are women candidates, while 89 candidates are in the fray for the Jaintia hills council, including two women. Mawlai constituency in East Khasi Hills has the highest number of voters — 36,885, while Laban-Mawprem constituency, which falls in the same district, has the least voters — 10,768.

The state government is spending around Rs 9.06 crore on the elections, Lyngdoh said.

Electronic voting machines, which will be used for the polls, will arrive from Hyderabad tomorrow. All returning officers have to travel to Nongpoh in Ri Bhoi district to collect the machines.

While voting takes place on February 24, the results will be announced on February 27.