Meghalaya voter turnout the highest in past 2 polls

Shillong: The voter turnout in Meghalaya in the last two general elections has been one of the highest in the country, inspite of bandh call and militancy in some pockets in the state, Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh said on Tuesday.

'The recent assembly polls were held smoothly by the election machinery and there has been no re-poll and no election petition,' Lyngdoh who holds charge of the election department told the House, in reply to a cut motion by National Peoples Party Opposition legislator James K Sangma.

"The enforcement of model code of conduct during the last election was best in the country and the complaints of violation of model code of conduct received have been the lowest," the minister said.

He said Meghalaya is the first state in the country to achieve 100 per cent Photo Electoral Coverage and 100 per cent distribution of EPICs.

"Meghalaya is the only state in the country which prints electoral rolls in house. The electoral rolls quality is one of the best in the country and appreciated by the Election Commission of India," he said.

The deputy CM also informed the house that chief electoral officer (CEM) of Meghalaya, P Naik is the senior most CEM in the country. "He has been described as the best chief electoral officer by the ex-chief election commissioner Navin Chawla," Lyngdoh said.

Lyngdoh informed that Naik has conducted over 25 general elections in various capacities and there has not been a single repoll or election petition till date.

"The Election Commission of India is highly appreciative of the election machinery of Meghalaya for conducting the polls under the leadership of Naik, successfully from time to time," he added.

Lyngdoh informed that Meghalaya has received the best electoral practice award for development of GPS applications in election management software by Naik.

Lyngdoh further said that Meghalaya has received the second best prize under Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation Programme this year for West Garo Hills District.

On the demand of the opposition legislator for the use of the paper trail EVMs, the minister said he is yet to receive any notification from the election commission in this regard.

While stating that there was no proposal for other type of machines to be used during elections at present, the minister said EVMs have been used in Meghalaya in the last many elections and these were found to be 'most satisfactory'.