GUWAHATI: A day after a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate was killed in an IED blast triggered by suspected militants in Meghalaya, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh alleged there was no law and order in the state.
“I am deeply hurt by the killings of the NCP candidate (Jonathone N Sangma), his personal security officer and two party workers in a bomb blast yesterday (Sunday)…If there is no law and order, there cannot be any development in the state,” Singh told people at a rally in the state’s East Garo Hills on Monday.
Meghalaya has 57 police stations but only 39 are active. This shows how serious the Congress is about the security of people, Singh said. He campaigned for BJP candidate Thomas N Marak in Songsak, adjoining Williamnagar.
Sangma, 43, was killed at Samanda in East Garo Hills at around 8pm on Sunday when he was returning in a car after a poll campaign. He had filed nomination from the Williamnagar seat.
Meanwhile, the state’s election department has sought additional forces from the Centre.
“We have sent a request asking for more companies of the central paramilitary forces for the peaceful conduct of the elections, particularly in Garo Hills,” chief electoral officer, Frederick Roy Kharkongor, told The New Indian Express.
Election to the Williamnagar seat has been countermanded. “The next date of polling for the seat will be announced soon,” Kharkongor said.
So far, no outfit has claimed responsibility for the blast. Outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) and Liberation of A’chik Elite Force are active in Garo Hills which share a border with Bangladesh.
Meghalaya will go to polls on February 27. Of the state’s 3,082 polling stations, 536 have been declared as vulnerable while 444 marked as critical.