Voters outside a polling booth in Tripura's Udaipur
Assembly election in Left Front-ruled Tripura
has begun at 7am today, while people in Meghalaya
will vote on February 27. Counting of votes in all the three states in the north-east is on March 3. The model code of conduct is in force in the three states since January 19. All the three states have 60 seats each in their assembly. But, Tripura will vote for 59 seats today as voting in Charilam has been postponed to March 12 after the death of CPIM candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma. The Congress is in power in Meghalaya, the Left Front is running Tripura and the Naga People's Front in alliance with the BJP is in charge in Nagaland. BJP leaders have been the north-east in recent times to firm up election plans. The Congress is also looking to strengthen its presence in the region, which the BJP has been taking inch by inch with the victories in Assam and Manipur in the last two years.
Here are the updates of the assembly elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland:
State Election Office registered 45.9 percent voter turnout till 1 pm.
The voter turnout in Tripura till 11 am is 23.2 percent, according to State Election Office
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar at a polling booth in Agartala where he cast his vote. He is a legislator from the Dhanpur constituency.
13 percent polling was registered in Tripura till 8:30 am. Barring few minor issues with EVMs, polls are being conducted peacefully across the state, say election official.
A total of 292 candidates are in the fray in 59 assembly segments in Tripura
Some 25 lakh voters will exercise their franchise today
Voting in Left-ruled Tripura began at 7am today with voters queuing up outside polling booths across the state.
Congress doesn't make false promises like BJP: Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi today appealed to the people of Tripura to vote for the Congress to bring good governance, saying unlike the BJP, his party does not make false promises.
"What the Congress pledges, it implements them. It does not make any false promise of something it cannot implement. If we come to power, we would implement what we have pledged," he said.
NDPP-BJP alliance to get absolute majority in Nagaland: Rio
Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party's (NDPP) Chief Ministerial candidate Neiphiu Rio on Thursday voiced confidence that the NDPP-BJP alliance will come to power with absolute majority in Nagaland.
Although the BJP had been in alliance with the Nagaland People's Front (NPF) for the last 15 years, it favoured the newly-floated NDPP as it had lost confidence in leadership of Chief Minister T R. Zeliang whose tenure was "riddled with massive corruption, instability, misgovernance, propaganda and lies", said Mr Rio, who has already being elected to the assembly without contest.
"Leadership should be visionary, strong and should keep its commitment with the people. His (Zeliang) leadership is without vision, and he leads from behind instead of from the front," he said, while addressing a series of election rallies in Peren district ahead of the February 27 assembly elections.
In Tripura, the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and its rivals, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Trinamool Congress, have been organising road shows and poll campaigns using vehicles colourfully decorated with flowers, balloons, party flags and festoons, news agency IANS reported.
Each party has unleashed hundreds of small vehicles that traverse all the small lanes and bylanes in every human habitation across the state, blaring out songs, satirical rhymes hitting out at opponents, poems in praise of the party, and also list out the electoral promises, from loudspeakers fitted to CD players.
"In Tripura, patriotic, folk and modern songs, street plays, rhymes and poems are used as a vital campaign mode in electoral battles," renowned political analyst Salil Debbarma told IANS.
Tripura Sanskriti Samannay Kendra (TSSK), the literary and cultural front of the ruling CPI-M, has composed a set of songs, including in folk style, criticising the BJP for its "failure" across the country and over its electoral pact with the tribal-based Indigenous People's Front of Tripura.
Tripura Assembly Polls Likely To Test CPM's New Political Line
Ahead of Sunday's assembly polls, the BJP's social media war room in Agartala is buzzing with activity. Among the volunteers busy tweeting and promoting the party's slogan "Chalo Paltai" (Let's bring change) are young people who had Left leanings in the past."
To counter the BJP's poll war cry of 'Chalo Paltai' or 'let's bring change' ahead of the February 18 assembly elections in Tripura, the CPM is using the BJP's alliance with the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) as a main plank.
Of the 195 candidates vying for a seat in the 60-member Assembly this time in Nagaland, five are women.While Wedie-u Kronu and Mangyangpula are contesting the polls on National People's Party (NPP) tickets from Dimapur-III and Noksen Assembly constituencies, Rakhila is a BJP nominee from Tuensang Sadar-II seat.
Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang exuded confidence that the NPF will return to power and said the party has not shut doors to the BJP to return into the partnership after February 27 elections. He, however, ruled out any possibility of alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) even in the case of a hung Assembly.
A total of 372 candidates are in the fray for the February 27 Meghalaya assembly elections after three of them withdrew their documents on the last date of withdrawal of nomination, Chief Electoral Officer Frederick R Kharkongor said. He said the total number of candidates in the Meghalaya assemble elections is now 372 out of the 375 whose nominations were cleared during scrutiny.
In Nagaland, where nine out of 10 people are Christian, political parties are racing to offer the devout a sop they can't refuse. The Congress has already gone and done it in its manifesto on Monday. The BJP suggested the idea in a recent vision document and is likely to make a better offer tomorrow when it is set for release. The offer - a visit to the holiest of holy lands for the faithful, Jerusalem.
The Left Front led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M) has been in power in Tripura since 1993. It is seen as the strongest bastion of the Left in the country with Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, 68, completing his fourth term. This time, the BJP is eyeing the state and has got a boost after six Trinamool Congress and one Congress legislator joined the party. The BJP is also trying to form an alliance with regional parties to consolidate anti-Left votes.
In Nagaland's 60-member assembly, the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland is in power led by the Naga People's Front and supported by the BJP. The BJP is trying to make inroads into the state with Congress losing ground as the main opposition party. Internal troubles in the Naga People's Front might end up helping the BJP though. Former Nagaland Chief Minister and Lok Sabha parliamentarian Neiphiu Rio has formed a new political party, breaking ties with the NPF, and may even join hands with BJP.
Electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper trail (VVPAT) will be used in the assembly elections in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti had said. He said election officials have made good efforts to assure basic facilities and arrangements for people with special needs to help them vote. Voter assistance desk will be set up at every polling station, Mr Joti said.