Campaigning came to a close on Monday for the second phase of the Lok Sabha poll scheduled for April 9 for seven seats in Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram and for elections to the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.
The first phase of the elections began peacefully on Monday in Tripura and Assam, with a high turnout.
On Wednesday, elections to two seats each in Meghalaya and Arunachal and one seat each in Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram will be held.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress won five of these seven seats. The Nationalist Congress Party won the Tura seat in Meghalaya and the Naga People’s Front (NPF) got the lone Lok Sabha seat in the State.
In Arunachal, the Congress swept the 2009 Assembly polls. The party also won both Lok Sabha seats that year. This time the Congress won 11 Assembly seats.
Prominent among those in the fray for Wednesday polls are the former Lok Sabha Speaker, P.A. Sangma from Tura, Union Minister Vincent H. Pala from Shillong in Meghalaya, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio from the lone Lok Sabha constituency in Nagaland, sitting Congress MP from Arunachal Takam Sanjoy, BJP leaders and former MPs Kiren Rijiju and Tapir Gao, and Trinamool Congress candidate and former president of the North East Students’ Organisation, Gumjum Haider.
Mr. Sangma is contesting as the candidate of the National People’s Party headed by him. The constituency is witnessing a straight contest with the veteran politician locking horns with the 27-year-old Congress candidate, Daryl William Ch. Momin, grandson of Meghalaya’s first Chief Minister, the late Captain Williamson A. Sangma. Mr. Sangma’s main poll plank is carving out a separate State of Garoland from Meghalaya. The BJP has not put up any candidate in this seat.
In Shillong, Mr. Pala, regional parties and the BJP are in fray.
In Mizoram, the Congress is hoping to retain the lone Lok Sabha seat. In Manipur, the Congress won both the Lok Sabha seats in 2009 and the two sitting MPs have been re-nominated. The BJP, backed by the Manipur People’s Party, is contesting both seats.