Forces for council elections

Shillong, Feb 9 : The Centre has sanctioned 10 companies of central paramilitary forces for the two-phase district council polls to be held on Tuesday and Thursday.
While the elections to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council will be held on Tuesday, the polls for the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council is slated for Thursday. 
A senior police official today said in addition to the existing police force, 10 companies of CRPF would be deployed in the state during the elections. “We are considering the polling booths in Jaintia Hills and East Garo Hills as sensitive.”
While there is a history of group clashes in Jaintia Hills during the past elections, militancy is likely to pose a problem in the East Garo Hills. “We hope that with adequate security measures, the polls will be free and fair,” he said. 
The deputy commissioners of the state have already imposed a strict model of conduct for the parties and the candidates.
The East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner B. Dhar said polling personnel who have to reach the far-flung booths on foot, have already begun moving today. 
The remaining polling officials will leave tomorrow. The counting for both the Khasi and Jaintia council elections will be held on February 13 and that for Garo hills on February 16. 
Oddly, all the coalition partners of the ruling Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) — the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (HSPDP), Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM), and BJP — have fielded candidates separately. 
“This does not mean that we are opposed to each other, as we consider the council elections as a friendly contest,” a minister of said. 
While there is no pre-poll alliance by the coalition partners, post-poll alliance may be necessary considering the probable fractured mandate, said a UDP leader. 
The major political parties, the NCP, UDP and the Congress have fielded candidates in all the 29 seats of the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo councils.
However, HSPDP and KHNAM have fielded candidates only in Khasi and Jiantia Hills.