Meghalaya: Special Cell for Voter Enrollment Removed

Meghalaya: Special Cell for Voter Enrollment Removed
Under pressure from NGOs, the Meghalaya government today decided to do away with the special cell for enrollment of voters here, as a first step to check that no dubious voters were enrolled.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting convened by Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh and the Election Minister J A Lyngdoh with government officials.

"The government has decided to remove the special voter facilitation cell at the DC's office as a first step to pacifying the NGOs," Lyngdoh told PTI.

He said, the special facilitation cell would be shifted to the room of the additional district magistrate at the office of the DC.

On the enrollment drives in four Khasi Jaintia Hills districts, the home minister said the government would decide at a later time.

According to the government's decision, the voter registration forms would be distributed by the ADM in charge of East Khasi Hills district, D M Wahlang.

East Khasi Hills district authorities have registered more than 3000 additional voters from January 5 this year, out of which less than 500 were non-indigenous eligible voters.

Earlier in the day, talks were held between Meghalaya government and four tribal bodies, protesting the alleged enrollment of doubtful voters in the state.

A delegation of the NGOs met the home minister and election minister, Chief Election officer P Naik and other senior election and police department officials and demanded that enrollment drives at special cells at the offices of deputy commissioners and sub divisional officers should be stopped.

Khasi Students Union, Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People, Synjuk Seng Samla Shnong and Hynniewtrep National Youth Front had yesterday called a two-day road blockade in protest against alleged enrolment of doubtful voters in the state. They demanded that migrants and foreign nationals did not get voting rights.

"We have asked the government to put on hold the enrollment drive through special cells at the offices of the deputy commissioner and the subdivisions," Khasi Students Union chief Daniel Khyriem told reporters after the meeting.

Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People acting president Joe Marwein said, "Enrollment drives should be conducted at village level to prevent any dubious voter from getting themselves enrolled in the state."
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