Shillong: Battle lines have been drawn for Saturday's poll to the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly in which 345 candidates, including Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Congress president DD Lapang, are in the fray.
Banned Khasi organisation, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council has called a 36 hour bandh from 6.00 pm on Friday in seven districts in Khasi and Jaintia Hills region.
Prominent candidates are the Chief Minister, Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh, Education minister RC Laloo, Congress president Lapang, UDP president Don Kupar Roy, former Leader of Opposition and son of PA Sangma Conrad K Sangma and his brother James Sangma.
The Congress has put up candidates in all 60 seats, and ally United Democratic Party in 50.
Of the 15 parties in the fray, the P A Sangma-led National Peoples Party is contesting in 32 seats, the NCP in 21 and the BJP in 13.Among the candidates are 25 women.
Of the 2,845 polling stations, 900 have been declared 'hyper-sensitive'.
Booths along the international border and the interstate border with Assam have also been categorised as 'hyper-sensitive'.
The BSF, which has been put on maximum alert along the 498-km border, has deployed 10,000 personnel.
Ninety-one companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state to maintain law and order and 44 companies in the militant-hit Garo Hills region.
As many as 7,59,608 females and 15,03,907 males would cast their ballots in the election, contested by 345 candidates belonging to 15 political parties including independent candidates.
The candidates include 25 women, an increase of 11 from 2008 elections.
Of the 60 seats, Congress has put up candidates in all seats.
United Democratic Party, the key ally of the Congress in the government for the past three years, is contesting in 50 seats. While the P A Sangma-led National Peoples' Party is contesting in 32 seats, NCP and BJP are contesting in 21 and 13 seats respectively.
Meanwhile, former cabinet ministers B M Lanong and A L Hek came under the Election Commission of India's scanner for their alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
EC officials today seized Rs 1.31 lakh from one Kramstar Mawlong at a junction in Pynthorumkhrah constituency, where Hek is one of the contestants.
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