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Tribal group ignites electorate's minds at Meghalaya market

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Tribal group ignites electorate's minds at Meghalaya market

Shillong, April 6 (Ajit Weekly News) Hundreds of tribals belonging to the Khasi and Garo tribes on Friday assembled at Byrnihat, the northern entry-point of Meghalaya along Assam, to listen to important messages from the ‘U Sangot’.

The ‘U Sangot’, a traditional Khasi information broadcaster, has been roped in as part of the Election Commission’s voter awareness programmes in Meghalaya.

Dressed in traditional Khasi costumes, the ‘U Sangot’ performers played a pro-active role in spreading voter awareness among the tribals, who assembled at Byrnihat for the weekly market there.

Bah J. Syngkli, the ‘Rangbah Shnong’ (headman) of Byrnihat, introduced the ‘U Sangot’ team to the people, who assembled at the weekly market from different villages along the northern periphery of Ri Bhoi district.

Syngkli spoke about the importance of the Lok Sabha elections, saying each voter should ensure that he/she exercises his/her franchise, and sends the best candidate to the Parliament.

“We can guarantee that India will continue as a strong democracy only if we vote in larger numbers,” Syngkli said.

Other ‘U Sangot’ functionaries said it is a matter of pride that the electorate in Meghalaya will be the first ones to cast their votes as the state will go to the polls in the first phase on April 19.

Highlighting Meghalaya’s ‘clean and green’ elections, they said the voters should compete with each other to be the first ones to exercise their franchise in their respective polling stations.

As per the Election Commission, the first two voters — one male and one female — will get the opportunity to plant saplings on the campus of the polling stations, with their names displayed on a board next to it.

“A clean and green election is the primary focus of the Lok Sabha polls in Meghalaya,” a U Sangot member said.

Meghalaya’s Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Jonathan Shylla, said the U Sangot initiative taken by the state poll panel is part of SVEEP (Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation), the flagship programme of the Election Commission for spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in the country.

Interestingly, the programmes under SVEEP are designed according to the socio-economic, cultural, and demographic profile of the state, as well as the history of electoral participation in Meghalaya, Shylla said.

–Ajit Weekly News

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