Polling begins in Nagaland & Meghalaya

Election to the 60-member Nagaland assembly began at 7 am today amid tight security as more than half of 2,156 polling stations have been declared critical.

With Nationalist Democratic People’s Party(NDPP) chief Neiphiu Rio winning unopposed the Northern Angami-II seat, polling is being held in 59 seats.

Voting will continue till 4 pm, except in some polling stations of the interior districts where it will end at 3 pm, election office sources said.

Officials said many as 281 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), beside the state police force have been deployed throughout Nagaland to ensure peaceful polling.

Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha said of the 2,156 polling stations in Nagaland, 1,100 have been declared critical, 530 vulnerable and 526 normal.

All the polling stations would be manned by the CAPF personnel and the state police would also be assisting them, he added.

A total of 11,76,432 voters, comprising of 5,97,281 male, 5,79,151 female and 5884 service voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise during the day to decide the fate of 195 candidates.

Polling for the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly also began at 7 am this morning amid tight security with over 18 lakh voters eligible to exercise their franchise in more than 3,000 polling stations across the state.

Voting will be held in 59 seats as the polling in Williamnagar in East Garo Hills district has been countermanded following the killing of NCP candidate Jonathane N Sangma in an IED blast on February 18.

Women voters in their colourful tribal attires were seen queueing up at polling stations across the state since morning and shops in the vicinity did brisk business.

The polls will be held till 4 am across the state.

Meghalaya CEO F R Kharkongor said a total 106 companies of central armed police forces (CAPF) have been deployed along with state armed personnel and police especially in troubled Garo Hills region for peaceful polling in the state.

He said that six additional companies of CAPF were deployed in the troubled East and South Garo Hills districts.

Today’s polling will decide the fate of 361 candidates including 31 women and 80 Independents, election office sources said, adding 18.09 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 3,025 polling stations in the state.