People in northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya have voted in the second phase of parliamentary elections along with neighbouring states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.
The ruling Congress party, the main oppostion Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), regional party United Democratic Party, National People’s Party and independents are fighting it out for the two Lok Sabha or House of the people seats.
In Meghalaya, which had seen high turnout in the recent polls, enthusiasm is low for the current Lok Sabha elections.
“I have never seen the candidates, I will vote for the person suggested by local MLA,” says Laokhwan La, whose village of 500 people is in East Khasi Hills.
Donny Malcolm Wallang, additional district commissioner, Shillong said they had employed “dynamic methods” to attract young voters to ensure maximum participation.
Activities included flying clubs, essay, drawing, debate, quiz contests, graffiti, competitions in art, dancing, singing, slogan writing, on-air-air jingles contest, and “Run for Democracy Marathon”.
Though a matrilineal society, where women enjoy greater social and economic privilege, political power still eludes them.