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Polling to Meghalaya seat postponed after death of NCP candidate, 3 others in blast

The state election department has sought 10 additional companies of central paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polls in the Garo Hills region, which accounts for 24 of Meghalaya’s 60 seats.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2018 21:12 IST
David Laitphlang
David Laitphlang
Hindustan Times, Shillong
Meghalaya polls,Assembly elections,NCP candidate shot dead
Jonathone N Sangma and three others, including two bodyguards, were killed after Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) members allegedly set off an improvised explosive device at Samanda in East Garo Hills district.(File Photo)

Polling to the Williamnagar assembly seat in Meghalaya has been postponed in view of the death of four people, including a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate, in a blast on Sunday evening.

Chief electoral officer FR Kharkongor said the election – originally scheduled for February 27 – has been postponed, and a new date will be announced in a few days.

Jonathone N Sangma and three others, including two bodyguards, were killed after Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) members allegedly set off an improvised explosive device at Samanda in East Garo Hills district. The ultras also sprayed the vehicle with bullets.

The 43-year-old candidate was returning to Williamnagar after campaigning when his vehicle was targeted.

A peace rally was carried out in Williamnagar on Monday, and all business establishments remained shut in protest against the attack. The state election department has sought 10 additional companies of central paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polls in the Garo Hills region, which accounts for 24 of Meghalaya’s 60 seats.

Union minister of state for home Rajnath Singh, who was in Meghalaya on Monday to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party, blamed the ruling Congress government for Sangma’s death.

“The attack on the NCP candidate is testimony to chief minister Mukul Sangma’s failure to provide security to Meghalaya’s citizens,” he said while addressing a rally at Songsak. Accusing the state government of failing to usher development in the state, Singh promised round-the-clock electricity, regular drinking water and fast-paced development if the BJP comes to power.

First Published: Feb 19, 2018 21:12 IST