Poll panel order to transfer officials

Shillong, Jan. 17: The Meghalaya election department has instructed all departments to immediately transfer officers who either have direct or indirect connection with candidates who will contest in the Assembly polls next month.

Election officials said the instruction was given today and it is expected that the departments will comply with the order within the next few days.

The order to transfer officials who have a direct or indirect connection with party candidates has been done to ensure that the elections will be held in a free and fair manner without jeopardising the prospects of other candidates who do not have any connection with government officials.

The Election Commission had announced on January 11 that the state would go to the polls on February 23 along with Nagaland, while the counting of votes will be held on February 28.

During his recent visit to Meghalaya, chief election commissioner V.S. Sampath had said that the task of the election machinery was to deliver "free, fair and peaceful elections without any compromise".

Meghalaya has nearly 30 lakh citizens, with around 14,90,015 voters till the publication of the final electoral rolls earlier this month. There are more women voters (7,53,307) than males (7,36,708).

The polls will be held in 60 Assembly constituencies under 2,485 polling stations across 11 districts.

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