Meghalaya and Nagaland averaged more than 81% of polling in the Assembly elections held on Monday.
Both States have a 60-member House. But voting was held in 59 constituencies each as a BJP candidate was declared winner unopposed in Nagaland while a candidate of the United Democratic Party died in Meghalaya.
As per data uploaded by the Election Commission of India on February 28, a day after the polling, Meghalaya recorded 81.57% voter turnout, while Nagaland recorded 85.9% turnout at 5 pm.
On the previous day, Meghalaya’s Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor- had said 77.55% of the State’s 21.61 lakh voters exercised their franchise according to reports available by 7.30 p.m.
His Nagaland counterpart, V. Shashank Shekhar had said 85.32% of the State’s 13.17 lakh electors had cast their votes. “We are still expecting the results from 171 polling stations where voting continued beyond the closing time of 4 p.m.,” he said.
The turnout in Nagaland this year exceeded the figure of 83.85% recorded in the previous Assembly elections in 2018. Meanwhile, in 2018 Meghalaya had recorded 85.59% voting.
Three injured in attack
Polling in the two northeastern States was peaceful, barring some stray incidents of violence. Three persons were injured in Akuk village under the Bhandari constituency in Wokha district when supporters of one candidate attacked those of another.
There were reports of some extremists intimidating voters in favour of certain candidates in some districts.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio exuded confidence that the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the BJP would retain power.
“I am humbled by the support of the people who have already made me the longest-serving Chief Minister of Nagaland,” he said, after casting his vote at the Tuophema polling station. He is seeking to retain the Northern Angami-II seat for the NDPP.
He promised to remove certain “deficiencies” in the eastern part of Nagaland by creating jobs and building infrastructure if the NDPP-BJP retains power. Six eastern districts want to break away from Nagaland.
Mr. Rio said efforts would be made to resolve the “Naga political issue” and ensure permanent peace in the State. The issue pertains to the peace process between the Centre and two sets of extremist groups.
‘Wave for NPP’
His Meghalaya counterpart, Conrad K. Sangma said the turnout indicated a wave for the National People’s Party (NPP). “We have received a good response everywhere,” he said, after casting his vote at the Walbakgre polling station under South Tura, the constituency he hopes to retain.
However, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong drew the notice of the Election Commission for a similar comment in a video posted on social media. He is the NPP’s candidate from the Pynursla constituency.
The polling in Meghalaya was marked by a case of proxy voting when Shillong resident, Bir Kumar Rai found out that his vote in the city’s Nongrim Hills was cast by one Brij Kumar Rai. East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner, S.C. Sadhu said the polling team was replaced after the faux pas.
A constable of the Madhya Pradesh police, deployed for security during polling in Nagaland, died and three others were injured when the vehicle they were travelling in met with an accident in Wokha district. Some ITBP and Nagaland police personnel sustained minor injuries in a stone-pelting incident outside a booth in Mon district.