Lucky draw decides winner

JOWAI: Congress on Thursday won the highest number of seats (14) in JHADC with one of the Congress candidate winning the election through a lucky draw.

In a queer case, the Jowai (central) constituency saw a tie between Congress candidate Awhai Andrew Shullai and his nearest United Democratic Party (UDP) rival Kitboklang Nongtdu when both polled 2,315 votes each.

The third candidate Philemon Lyngdoh, a former MDC, secured 1,051 votes.

After they polled the same number of votes, the postal ballot votes were counted once again as the EVMs cannot be touched. The postal ) ballot votes once again showed 383 votes each. Since there was no other option, West Jaintia Hills District Returning Officer, PS Dkhar decided to find out the winner through a lucky draw.

Dkhar in front of the two candidates and other officials picked one of the chit and Shullai’s name came up, accordingly he was declared the winner.

Dkhar while quoting the rule 165(2) of the Assam and Meghalaya Autonomous Council (Constitution) 1951, said whenever there is a tie, the Returning Officer has the right to either vote in favour of any of the candidate or decide through a ‘Toss’ or ‘Draw of Luck’.

“I did not want to cast my vote, I want to re-examine the rejected postal ballots as requested by Congress candidate,” he said adding that on re-examine, it was found that there was a tie again. “So finally decided to find out the winner through a ‘lucky draw’, the RO said.