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Meghalaya district council polls: A lucky draw decides winner

By EMN Updated: Feb 27, 2014 11:07 pm

Shillong, February 27

The ruling Congress in Meghalaya Thursday won the highest number of seats in the two autonomous district councils elections, with one of the Congress candidate winning the election through a lucky draw.
Under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, Meghalaya has three district councils – the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills. In the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, the Congress bagged 10 seats in the 29-member house followed by Hill State People’s Democratic Party – seven, United Democratic Party – six, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement – four, and one each for the Nationalist Congress Party and Independent.
However, the Congress fared better in Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council as it clinched 14 of the 29 seats falling three seats short for a simple majority.
In a queer case, the Jowai (central) constituency saw a tie between Congress candidate Awhai Andrew Shullai and his nearest United Democartic Party (UDP) rival Kitboklang Nongtdu when both polled 2,315 votes each. Jaintia Hills returning officer and West Jaintia Hills deputy commissioner P.S. Dkhar said after both of them polled the same number of votes, the victor was decided through the lucky draw.
“After they polled the same number of votes we called them to my chamber and counted the postal ballot votes once again as the EVMs cannot be touched. The postal ballot votes once again showed 383 votes each,” Dkhar told IANS by phone. He said there was no other option but to decide the result through the lucky draw. Dkhar in front of the two candidates and other officials picked one of the chit and Shullai’s name came up, accordingly he was declared the winner. “It is the will of God and therefore I won,” Shullai told IANS.
Though the council elections are not really a big affair as it deals with the local administration, this year’s election is being seen as a prelude to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Political parties like the Congress and its regional rival UDP look at the district council elections as barometers for the bigger elections like the Lok Sabha and the state assembly elections.

By EMN Updated: Feb 27, 2014 11:07:24 pm