Shillong, Aug 23: The by-election for two Meghalaya Assembly constituencies - Ranikor in South West Khasi Hills district and South Tura in West Garo Hills - was held on Thursday.
"The turnout at Ranikor and South Tura was 82.1% and 72.87% respectively. Reports from a few centres are yet to come in, though," Meghalaya's chief electoral officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor said.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who is also the national chief of the National People's Party (NPP), contested the by-election and is hopeful to win the South Tura assembly seat in order to retain his chief ministership.
7.5 per cent voter turnout was reported in first two hours of polling. The CEO had said it will pick-up by afternoon till the end at 5 pm.
Agatha Sangma resigned as member from South Tura Assembly seat to pave the way for her brother Conrad Sangma to contest the by-election.
Sangma is pitted against Congress candidate Charlotte W Momin, John Leslee K Sangma and Kris Kabul A Sangma who are contesting as Independents.
The Ranikor assembly seat fell vacant after former Public Works Department Minister and five-time Congress legislator from Ranikor constituency, Martin Dango, resigned as member of the State Assembly and joined the ruling NPP after the government announced the creation of Ranikor Civil Sub-Division.
Dango is contesting against three candidates in his bid to get re-elected- Congress' Jacquish A Sangma, United Democratic Party's Pius Marwein and People's Democratic Front's PN Syiem.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is part of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, has decided not to contest the by-elections and support the NPP candidate Conrad Sangmafrom South Tura assembly seat. However, the BJP remained neutral for the Ranikor by-poll.
South Tura assembly constituency in West Garo Hills district has around 30,230 voters spread across 36 polling stations.
Ranikor assembly constituency in South West Khasi Hills district bordering Bangladesh has 65 polling stations with a total of 29,685 voters.
In both constituencies, electronic voting machines and VVPATs will be used.