Other States

Polling largely peaceful in Meghalaya, Nagaland

Awaiting their turn: Voters at Nongpoh in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya on Tuesday.

Awaiting their turn: Voters at Nongpoh in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

But initial estimate indicates a dip in turnout

Meghalaya and Nagaland recorded a fall in turnout as the Assembly elections were held in both States on Tuesday. Polling was largely peaceful though one person was reported killed and three others injured in Nagaland in a clash between supporters of rival parties.

At least 67% of Meghalaya’s 1,844,785 voters and 75% of Nagaland’s 1,170,548 voters exercised their franchise, though officials in both States said the figures could rise when data from remote polling stations are tabulated.

Contest for 59 seats

In 2013 and 2008, Meghalaya registered 86.82% and 88.99% voting, while Nagaland clocked 90.19% and 86.91% respectively.

In both States, polling was held for 59 of the 60 seats. Voting in Meghalaya’s Williamnagar was countermanded after the killing of NCP candidate Jonathone N. Sangma, while former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) was declared elected unopposed from Northern Angami-II seat in Nagaland.

“The voter turnout was 67% by 5 p.m. We expect the figure to go beyond 75% after reports from remote stations come in,” Meghalaya’s Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor said, adding 88 VVPATs and 56 EVMs malfunctioned but were rectified or replaced.

His Nagaland counterpart Abhijit Sinha said the voting by 5 p.m. was 75% with the figure expected to go up marginally. Re-polling will be held in at least five booths — three in Phek district and two in Kohima.

Polling day in Nagaland began with a crude bomb attack at a polling station in Tizit constituency. A civilian was injured in the explosion., was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from elsewhere as polling began. A man was reportedly shot dead in a clash between supporters of the BJP and the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Zunheboto district’s Akuluto constituency while miscreants prevented women from voting at Mongsenyimti village in Mokokchung district.

“One person was confirmed dead while two others were injured in firing by Indian Reserve Battalion to disperse a mob in Akuluto. We have sought a detailed report from the district heads,” Nagaland's additional Chief Election Officer Moa Aier told The Hindu.

While Akavi N. Zhimomi, an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate in Nagaland’s Ghaspani-I seat, alerted the Election Commission about fake voting, the BJP in Meghalaya lodged a complaint against an FM radio channel for “communalising the election process with appeal to vote against anti-Christian party”.

Meghalaya and Nagaland are Christian-majority States where BJP has been battling an image perception.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:54:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/polling-largely-peaceful-in-meghalaya-nagaland/article22870829.ece

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