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Posted on Jan 31, 11:14AM | UNI
Shillong, Jan 30 : Officials of Meghalaya and Assam will meet here next week to discuss steps to ensure free and peaceful election in Langpih and other areas along the inter-state border.
Informing this, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Prashant Naik today said a joint meeting between senior officials of the two states will be held here on February 8.
'The meeting will discuss the need to maintain peace in Langpih and other areas along the Assam-Meghalaya border during the elections, besides discussing other issues,' Mr Naik said.
The meeting will be attended by chief electoral officers, principal secretaries of home department and top police officials of the two states.
It might be mentioned that Assam had been claiming Langpih as being part of its territory.
In the past, election officials from Assam had tried to convince the people at Langpih and adjoining areas to enroll as voters in Assam but the villagers rejected the offer.
Similarly, there were also attempts by Assam to get the villagers of Block II areas in Ri-Bhoi district enrolled in its electoral rolls. The attempts, however, failed as the villagers said they wanted to enroll as voters in Meghalaya.
Earlier this month, Chief Secretary W M S Pariat and DGP Kulbir Kishan had a meeting with their Assam counterparts in Guwahati to discuss the need to ensure free and fair polls in the disputed border areas.
Meanwhile, the poll process for the Meghalaya Assembly elections started today with the filing of nomination papers by candidates. The last date of filing of nomination is February 6.
Mr Naik also said that scrutiny of nominations would take place on February 7 while the last date for withdrawal of nominations is February 9.
According to Mr Naik, the Election Commission had announced multi-pronged measures and strategies to hold free and fair elections.
He also informed that the poll panel has already formed flying squads led by a magistrate to check illegal arms, distribution of money and other unlawful materials during the assembly polls.
Mr Naik also said that the Commission will deploy observers in each districts of the state.
The observers' role would be to monitor the activities of the candidates whether they exceed the stipulated limit of expenditure, violate any poll model code of conduct and any ethnic or law and order problem.
Meanwhile, committees at the district level will also be formed which will keep watch over 'paid news'.