Meghalaya : Like Ancient Greece, runners to be utilised as substitutes for technology in Ranikor by-election

Shillong (Meghalaya ), Aug 12 : This is what is going to exactly happen in the By -election to Ranikor seat here on August 23 next.

The Election Commission (EC) has taken into service of runners for the smooth conduct of the polls . Yes . Like in Ancient Greece runners have been trained to cover a max of 40 kms up and down to deliver messages on the polling day as majority of the roads are not motorable in this inaccessible constituency .

The EC has hired the service of runners who have excelled in various competitions to bring in messages as there is no means of technology in at least five polling stations and the roads leading there are not atall motorable .

Around 15 youth have already been identified by the district authorities for the job.

According to the Meghalaya’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Frederick R Kharkongor these are remote and inaccessible areas with difficult terrains. The mobile connectivity is also very low. The runners are being engaged to transmit messages between polling parties and sector officers. The sector officers will in turn transmit the messages to the returning officers.

Kharkongor added that It was a solution that was shared and we thought it is a good idea. They are in the nature of para volunteers. People in that area have got the reputation of being good runners. We have a pool of 10 to 15 people. Wherever there is a need, they will be deployed. They are young people and part of the election team.

The by-election to Ranikor assembly constituency in Meghalaya will be held on August 23, the day when by-election to South Tura will also be conducted. State Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma will contest from South Tura in West Garo Hills district . The Ranikor seat fell vacant after five-time Congress MLA Martin M Danggo resigned from the assembly on June 21.

National People’s Party MLA Agatha K Sangma, who represented South Tura seat, resigned on July 2 to pave way for her brother and the chief minister to contest from the constituency. As he did not contest the February 27 assembly polls, his election to the Meghalaya Assembly is mandatory before September 6.

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