Moderate polling in four Northeastern states till noon in phase 2 of Lok Sabha election

Moderate polling in four Northeastern states till noon in phase 2 of Lok Sabha election

Voters queue to cast their vote during the second phase of Lok Sabha election at a polling station in Dimapur
Photo courtesy: AFP

Itanagar, Shillong, Imphal, Kohima:  Moderate polling was reported from four Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur for six Lok Sabha constituencies till noon.

There was 25 per cent polling in Arunachal Pradesh, 39 per cent in Meghalaya, 38.98 per cent in Nagaland and 40 per cent in Manipur.

Polling was also underway for the 60-member Assembly in Arunachal Pradesh.

Congress candidate in Konsa (W) Assembly constituency in troubled Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh was kidnapped by suspected militants, but was released unharmed later.

Congress, BJP, NCP and Peoples Party of Arunachal (PPA), besides Independents, are in the fray in the Western and Eastern parliamentary constituencies which are traditional Congress strongholds since 1975, except in 2004 when BJP made a dent for the first time.

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Ninong Ering of Congress was pitted against BJP nominee Tarir Gao and PPA'S Wangman Lowangcha in the Eastern parliamentary seat.

After casting his vote at Sagalee, about 137 km from Itanagar, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said the party would emerge winner in both the Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

Tuki was among 11 Congress candidates elected unopposed to the 60-member house.

Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma cast his vote along with his wife Jyotsna Sharma.

"I congratulate the people of the state for their peaceful participation in the poll process indicating growth of democracy," he said.

There was a significant turnout of women and first-timer voters in a majority of the polling booths.

In Nagaland, Dimapur reported a turnout of 9.98 per cent and state capital Kohima 26.53 per cent. Khipre, the remotest district in the state, recorded the highest at 60 per cent till noon.

NPF candidate and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio cast his vote in the first hour at his home constituency of Northern Angami-II in Kohima district.

Polling was, however, yet to begin in a disputed area in Longleng district bordering Assam.

Longleng Superintendent of Police James said armed Assam Police and CRPF personnel prohibited the entry of polling officials at Ladaigarh Polling Station (PS) No. 1 under Tamlu Assembly constituency in the district.

In Meghalaya, defying a 12-hour bandh called by a banned separatist group in the Khasi Jaintia hills, voters turned out in large numbers in urban areas, state Chief Electoral Officer P Naik said.

Congress, BJP, former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma's National Peoples Party, regional party United Democratic Party (UDP), besides Independents supported by small regional parties were contesting in the Shillong and Tura seats.

Sangma, who had won the Tura seat eight out of 10 times, was pitted in a straight fight against Congress candidate Daryl Momin for the seat.

In Manipur, about 40 per cent of the electorate voted in the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha constituency.

People dressed in traditional attire were seen in queues at polling booths in all the five hill districts of Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel, Tamenglong and Churachandpur, where central security forces were deployed in strength.

Story First Published: April 09, 2014 14:38 IST
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