As per trends coming in at noon, the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) and the BJP-Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party(NDPP) alliance are fighting a close contest in Nagaland.
The NDPP president Tongpang Ozukum has issued a letter of support to the BJP-NDPP alliance under the leadership of Mr. Neiphiu Rio.
The electoral contest in Nagaland is predominantly between regional parties. The NPF and the newly launched NDPP are the main rivals.
The national parties are nowhere in the picture. The Congress, which once ruled the State, has contested in fewer seats than BJP, relatively a newcomer in the region. While BJP has entered into a pre-poll alliance with the NDPP, it has kept its options open for a post-poll tie-up.
Nagaland’s recent political history is tumultuous . The State witnessed President’s rule twice, and saw chief ministers being elected five times over the last five years. Then there is a two-decade-old fight with insurgents with various demands ranging from autonomy to the formation of a separate country.
The people of Nagaland preferred democracy over insurgents’ call for a boycott. Albeit less than the previous election, 75% votes were polled in the Assembly elections this time around.
Here are the live updates
The BJP will form the next government in Nagaland with the help of other parties, Union minister and BJP in-charge for the state Kiren Rijiju says, indicating that the party’s erstwhile ally NPF may align with it.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanks the people of Nagaland for supporting BJP and its allies.
“I assure my sisters and brothers of Nagaland that we will continue to work for the progress and prosperity of Nagaland. I applaud the tireless work of the local BJP unit,” he says.
Nagaland Chief Minister and NPF candidate T.R. Zeliang retains his Peren constituency, defeating his nearest NDPP rival Iherie Ndang by 5,432 votes. Mr. Zeliang bagged 14,064 votes while Mr. Ndang of the NDPP secured 8,632 votes.
In the last Assembly election in 2013, Mr. Zeliang had won the seat by a margin of 2,636 votes.
Going by the trends, Nagaland appears headed for a hung House. It appears that the ruling NPF and its allies will end up with 28 seats, 3 short of majority.
The NPF has emerged as the single-largest party by winning 11 seats and leading in another 12.
Imtikumzuk has retained Aonglenden seat. He contested on behalf of the NDPP.
In Noklak, BJP's H. Haiying is leading by five votes.
Two more wins to NPF. Y. Vikheho Swu of NPF wins from Pughoboto and Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang wins from Peren.
N.R. Zeliang won from Tenning.
First result has been declared in Nagaland. NPF’s E. E. Pangteang defeats K. Kiko Konyak of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party by a margin of 148 votes in Moka seat.
|E. E. PANGTEANG||Naga Peoples Front||7684|
|K. KIKO KONYAK||Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party||7536|
|None of the Above||None of the Above||27|
The NPF and NDPP are engaged in a neck-and-neck race. The NPF is leading in 19 seats while NDPP is leading in 13. The NDPP's ally, BJP, is leading in 5 seats, while NPSF's ally JD(U) is leading in 2.
Awan Konyak, Zhaleo Rio and Z Nyusietho Nyuthe are leading in Aboi, Ghaspani-ii and Meluri. All belong to NDPP.
In 35 out of 60 constituencies, where trends are being updated, NDPP has won one is leading in 12 seats. The ruling NPF is leading in 15. The BJP is leading in 5 and JD(U), NPP and an Independent are leading in one seat each.
The ruling NPF is leading with 11 seats. It's ally JD(U) is leading in one seat.
The NDPP-BJP combine are leading in 10 seats.
Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang is leading in Poren.
M.C.Konyak of NDPP is leading in Wakching, while Yankithung Yanthan of NPF is leading in Tyui.
In the fight among regional parties, the BJP appears to be the winner. The NPF is leading in 10 seats, while NDPP is leading in 4. The NPP is leading in 4 and the BJP itself is leading in 5 seats. Why is this advantage BJP? Because the NPP is a BJP's ally in Meghalaya, NDPP is having a pre-poll alliance with BJP and NPF is supporting the BJP at the Centre.
Status known for 24 out of 60 constituencies: NDPP has already won one seat. NPF is leading in 9, while NDPP and BJP are leading in 5 each. The National People's Party is leading in 3. The NPP, a Meghalaya-based party is testing waters in the neighbouring state.
K. K. Sema is the lone Congress candidate leading in Ghaspani-ii.
Will BJP manage a seat in Nagaland? It appears so as V. Kashiho Sangtam of the party is leading in Seyochung sitimi.
In Kohima town, one of the smallest constituency, Dr. Neikiesalie Nicky Kire of NDPP is leading.
As of now, NPF is leading in 5, NDPP in two, the BJP and JD(U) in one seat each.
The Naga Peoples Front is leading in 2 seats, while NDPP is leading in 1 seat.
In Noksen, the incumbent candidate C.M. Chang is leading. This time he is fighting on behalf of NDPP.
In Tuensang sadar-i, Toyang Chang is leading. in the last elections he represented this constituency as an independent. This time he is NPF candidate.
In Longkhim chare, Mithingnyuba Sangtam is leading, while sitting MLA A. Imtilemba Sangtam is trailing. Imtilemba Sangtam switched from NCP to BJP recently.
No place for national parties
For the grand old party, it's a battle of existence in Nagaland. From a party that ruled the state 15 years ago, Congress struggled to find candidates this time. It is contesting in 18 seats, two lesser than the BJP.
The state’s party unit is said to be unhappy with the High Command for not pushing the party campaign for the 18 candidates in Nagaland.
The BJP too is not a major force in the Christian-majority state where it is viewed as a ‘Hindu party’. The BJP, though, has been part of the ruling coalition headed by Naga People’s Front (NPF), since 2003.
But this time, the BJP aligned with NDPP, a new regional party while keeping its options open for a possible post-poll friendship with “old ally” NPF.
Even before the voting was conducted the NDPP started leading the polls. Former Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was declared winner after his only rival withdrew from the contest.
Mr Rio quit as Nagaland’s lone Lok Sabha member last month. In fact, he joined the NDPP only days after elections were announced in the State.
Counting begins. Postal ballot will be counted first.
On Friday, Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang and NPF president Shurhozelie Liezietsu met Governor P.B. Acharya with letters of pre-poll agreement with the Janata Dal (United) and National People’s Party (NPP), which together fielded 38 candidates.
“We have a good chance because voters know who can deliver for them,” Mr. Zeliang said, indicating that his party had been cleansed after 26 MLAs left to join NDPP and BJP before the poll process had begun.
(With inputs from Rahul Karmakar)