This Article is From Feb 27, 2018

1 Dead In Nagaland Poll Violence, Turnout Low In Meghalaya: 10 Points

While Congress is battling anti-incumbency in Meghalaya, in Nagaland, it is contesting in only 18 seats.

Voting is being held in 59 assembly constituencies in both Meghalaya and Nagaland.


  • Both Meghalaya and Nagaland have 60 seats each; voting is on in 59 seats
  • The Congress government in Meghalaya is seen as battling anti-incumbency
  • In Nagaland, the Congress is contesting in only 18 seats
Guwahati: One person has been killed and two injured in poll-related clashes in Nagaland's Zunheboto district where voting was underway along with Meghalaya today. The two tribal-Christian-majority north-eastern states have 60 seats and elections are being held for 59 seats. The BJP, which is already in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, hopes to add Congress-ruled Meghalaya to its kitty and wrest power in Nagaland through its regional ally. The elections in Nagaland follow a huge mid-campaign row with political parties refusing to issue tickets unless the Centre settled the peace process. In Meghalaya, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma was battling on two fronts - internal dissidence and the external challenge from the BJP. A village council member was injured in a crude bomb blast at a polling station in Nagaland's Mon district before the polling began.

Here is your 10-point cheatsheet:

  1. The Congress, which has been in power in Meghalaya for three straight terms, is seen as battling anti-incumbency. The party is contesting in all the 60 seats. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma is contesting from two constituencies - Ampati and Songsak. His wife, brother and sister-in-law are also in the fray. Over 67 per cent voters turned up in Meghalaya till 4 pm.

  2. Since attaining statehood in 1972, Meghalaya has a history of fractured mandates and fragile coalition. Only once a non-Congress government has been able to complete a full term. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma became the third chief minister in the state to complete a full term. 

  3. Fierce clashes broke out in Zunheboto district in central Nagaland between supporters of rival parties. Officials said additional forces had been sent to the Akuluto assembly seat to keep peace.

  4. The BJP is contesting 20 seats in Nagaland, leaving the rest to its ally - the NDPP, led by three-time Chief Minister Neipheu Rio, who formed the party after quitting NPF last year.

  5. The powerful NPF snapped its 15-year-old ties with the BJP, which decided to go with Mr Rio, who had the backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. But there is room for a post-poll alliance. Nagaland saw 75 per cent voter turnout till 4 pm.

  6. The NPF - which won 38 of the state's 60 seats in the last assembly elections - has now formed a pre-poll alliance with the National People's Party, which, however, does not involve seat sharing. The party is contesting in 58 seats and the NPP is contesting in 25.

  7. In Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio has been elected unopposed from the Northern Angami-II after the opponent candidate withdrew his nomination. With no significant presence in Nagaland and amid complaints of a huge cash crunch, the Congress is contesting in only 18 seats.

  8. The BJP is contesting in 47 seats in Meghalaya. While the party did initially find it difficult to find a footing over issues like beef ban, it has largely focussed on lack of development in the state. NDA allies the National People's Party, led by PA Sangma's family and the United Democratic Party, have stayed away from any alliance.

  9. Last month, all political parties in Nagaland signed a joint declaration, refusing to issue tickets or file nominations for the polls and demanded that the Centre find a solution to the vexed peace process before the elections.

  10. In Meghalaya, voting for the Williamnagar constituency was deferred after the killing of NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma. For the first time, 67 all-women polling stations and 61 model polling stations were set up in the state.