Voting started at 7 am this morning in Meghalaya and Nagaland, which will run till 4 pm. Polling at some polling stations in remote districts of Nagaland will end at three o’clock. There are 60-60-member assembly in both the states but for both the states, 59 seats will be cast. In Meghalaya, the election on the William Nagar seat has been canceled due to the death of NCP candidate Jonathon N Sangma in an IED blast in East Garo Hills district on February 18.
NDPP chief Neiphiu Rio has been declared unopposed from the North Angami II Assembly constituency in Nagaland. Election results in both the states and Tripura will be announced on March 3. Encouraged by the formation of the government in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP is now trying to spread its foot in Nagaland and Meghalaya. The results of elections for the Congress in Meghalaya will be significant as it has been in power for the last ten years in this state. The BJP is not making any effort to put Nagaland and Meghalaya in its fold.
Political observers are keenly watching the BJP’s efforts to form a government in the North-Eastern states. Anyway, the North-East Congress has been the stronghold and traditionally the saffron party has remained here on the margins. In Meghalaya, the Congress has fielded 59 candidates and BJP has won 47 seats. The National People’s Party (NPP) and the BJP are contesting different elections in Konrad Sangma, son of PA Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker in this state but NPP is a BJP ally in the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
In Nagaland, BJP is expected to get along with Neiphiu Rio Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). Of the two coalition partners, the NDPP has fielded candidates in 40 seats and BJP has won the remaining 20 seats. After Nagaland came into existence in 1963, the Congress has given three Chief Ministers. But he is now fighting only 18 seats while the BJP is standing here in 20 seats.
There are 370 candidates in the Meghalaya constituency. A total of 18.4 lakh voters will use their franchise at 3,083 polling stations spread across the state. Meghalaya’s Chief Electoral Officer, Frederick Roy Kharkongor said that for the first time 67 women polling stations and 61 model polling stations have been set up in the state. 32 women are also the candidates for the state assembly elections.
Of Nagaland 11,91,513 voters, 6,01,707 males and 5,89,806 female voters will use their franchise. The number of voters employed in military services is 5,925. Nagaland tribal Hohoj and Civil Organizations (