Polling disrupted in three booths

Barring minor incidents, elections to 59 seats of the 60-member Nagaland Assembly passed off peacefully on Saturday. There was more than 83 per cent voter turnout.

“Until 4 p.m. the turnout was 83.29 per cent, but the figure is likely to go up as polling is still on in some areas,” Chief Electoral Officer J. Alam told journalists in the evening. Polling parties from certain remote areas would take a longer time in reporting to the returning officers.

Though polling was largely peaceful, there were disruptions in three booths. There had been no reports of proxy voting through the day.

There were reports that the Assam Police had prevented polling at a booth in the Tamlu constituency as the State border in the area is disputed. Mr. Alam said District Commissioner of Longleng K. Libanthung Lotha had rushed to the area, but was yet to file his report.

“Armed miscreants” prevented polling at Hoshipo village in Zunheboto district, while a clash between supporters of two candidates resulted in adjournment of polls at Toshiko in Dimapur district. An electronic voting machine (EVM) was damaged in violence at Zawame in Phek district, Mr. Alam said.

The death of the Congress candidate from Tuensang Sadar I, P. Chuba Chang, had resulted in the postponement of the election there. Two other candidates who had filed their nominations would remain in fray while the Congress would be given a chance to nominate another candidate.

Deputy Election Commissioner Sudhir Tripathi, who is in the State as an observer, said this was the first time that photo electoral rolls and photo voter slips were used in Nagaland.

An unprecedented deployment of 255 companies of Central paramilitary forces was made in the State. The fate of 185 candidates, including two women, is sealed in the EVMs.

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