Assembly election: Voters in Nagaland formed long queues outside polling stations.
Nagaland recorded 75 per cent voters turnout on Tuesday, whereas the polling in Meghalaya stood at 67 per cent, with hundreds still lined up to cast ballots at the end of voting hours, the Election Commission said.
Tuesday's election in Nagaland was marred by a clash between supporters of the ruling Naga People's Front and the BJP in Zunheboto district, in which one person was shot dead and two persons injured.
The 2013 Assembly elections turnout in Nagaland was 90.57 per cent. Meghalaya last time saw 89 per cent turnout. In both the states, voting is taking place in 59 assembly constituencies.The results will be declared on March 3.
Both BJP and Congress are trying hard to claim win in the two states. Following the formation of its governments in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP is making a determined bid
to expand its footprint in the Northeast. The Congress, which has given three chief ministers to Nagaland, is contesting only 18 seats, two less than the BJP.
Earlier in the day, violent clashes erupted in Nagaland between supporters of the Naga People's Front (NPF) and the newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). One person was killed in the incident.Here are the live updates as polling begins in Meghalaya and Nagaland.
Exit Polls Predict A BJP Win In Tripura
Two exit polls today predicted that the BJP will dethrone the Left front from power in Tripura. According to the exit polls, the BJP will also consolidate its position in two other northeastern states of Meghalaya and Nagaland.
BJP Files Complaint Against Meghalaya RJ For Airing 'Objectionable' Content
A private radio station in Shillong came under fire from the BJP today for allegedly airing "objectionable" content in violation of the model code of conduct. In a letter forwarded to the state election department, the party alleged that a woman radio jockey (RJ) of the channel urged listeners to refrain from voting for any "anti-christian party". "The illegal propaganda was broadcast on the radio station with the aim and intent of communalising the election process," BJP leader Ankur Kumar said in his complaint to Meghalaya's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) F R Kharkongor. The channel, however, aired an apology by the RJ soon after and said "influencing the voters" was not its intention.
Over 67 per cent votes were polled till 4 pm in Meghalaya Assembly election today, an election official said. "Till 4 pm, over 67 per cent of the 18.09 lakh voters in the state cast their votes. Polling was peaceful," Chief Election Officer F R Kharkongor said. He said polling percentage is likely to go up as long queues were reported in a number of polling stations even after the polling was scheduled to close at 4 pm.
Till 5pm 75 per cent voters' turnout was recorded in Nagaland till 5pm. The turnout might increase as voters are still waiting outside several booths in the state. In 2013, the turnout was at 91.6 per cent.
Congress Lok Sabha MP and working president of Meghalaya unit, Vincent H Pala and state BJP president Shibun Lyngdoh cast their votes at Sutnga-Saipung and Khliehriat constituencies in Jaintia Hills region.
Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad has exercised his franchise at the Oakland polling station under North Shillong assembly constituency. Former union minister and NPP candidate Agatha K Sangma, Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh of the Congress, Leader of Opposition Donkupar Roy of the UDP and HSPDP chief Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit also exercised their franchise.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma voiced confidence that the Congress will retain power in Meghalaya, news agency IANS reported. Mr Sangma said his party will cross the magic-figure of 31 in the 60-member state assembly. "I have full faith on the people of the state. I believe that they have full confidence on the Congress party. We will cross the magic number," Mr Sangma told journalists after casting his vote at Chengkompara polling station in Ampati assembly constituency.
Till 3pm, 67 per cent voters turnout was recorded in Nagaland. In Meghalaya, the turnout was at 43 per cent.
In Nagaland, a blast was also reported from a polling booth at Tizit village in Mon district. The blast was reported an hour before voting started, Nagaland's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Abhijit Sinha said. "A handmade crude bomb was lobbed at a polling booth at Tizit village around 5:45 am in which one village council member, Yanlon suffered a minor injury in the leg," he said.
The clash between the supporters of the Naga People's Front (NPF) and the newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) took place at 11.10 am in the Akuluto constituency of Zunheboto district, Nagaland's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Abhijit Sinha said. The polling process was not disturbed due to the clash, he said. The Akuluto seat is witnessing a straight contest between incumbent parliamentary secretary and NPF candidate K Khekaho Assumi and BJP candidate Kazheto Kinimi. NDPP is the ally of BJP in the state, news agency PTI reported.
In Nagaland's Akuluto, one person was killed and two were injured after clashes between party workers of Naga People's Front and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party near a polling booth.
One person died and two injured after clashes between groups of Naga People's Front and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party near a polling booth in Nagaland's Akuluto.
The polling turnout in Nagaland swiftly climbed to 56 per cent by 1 pm, while Meghalaya recorded 31.4 per cent turnout.
For the first time, 67 all-women polling stations and 61 model polling stations have been set up in Meghalaya.
About 106 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), along with the Meghalaya armed personnel and police, have been deployed across the state, especially in the troubled Garo Hills region.
State Director General of Police (DGP) SB Singh said 580 polling stations have been marked as "vulnerable" and strict security measures were in place across Meghalaya to ensure a free-and-fair election.
Due to some malfunctioning electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, voting got delayed at some booths in Meghalaya.
"A handmade crude bomb was lobbed at the polling booth at around 5.45 am, in which one village council member, Yanlon, suffered minor injuries in the leg," Nagaland's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Abhijit Sinha said after a blast was reported about an hour before voting began. Polling is underway at the booth.
There were no other reports of violence from anywhere in the state till 10 am, Mr Sinha said.
By 11 am, the voter turnout in Nagaland rose to 39 per cent, but polling stations in Meghalaya received only 20 per cent voters.
While Nagaland saw 17 per cent voter turnout, 16 per cent voters turned up in Meghalaya till 9 am.
"We expect that polling will finish smoothly & we will get absolute majority as per voice of the people. We hope peace will prevail in the state & we will move for Naga political solution," Nagaland CM TR Zeliang was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
One person was injured in a bomb blast in a polling station Mon District's Tizit in Nagaland, news agency ANI reported.
In Meghalaya, as many as 340 polling stations have been categorised as "critical" and 580 as "vulnerable". In all, 106 companies of central armed police forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful polls, IANS reported
Meghalaya Voters In Numbers
- A total of 18,09,818 voters, including 9,13,702 women and 89,405 first-time voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise today, news agency IANS reported.
- Mawlai constituency in East Khasi Hills district has the highest voters at 42,670, and Dalu in West Garo Hills the lowest 18,640 voters.
- 361 candidates, including 31 women and many independents, are in fray in Meghalaya, according to IANS.
"Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of many polling stations well before polling opened at 7 am in the entire state. Polling ends at 4 p.m.," Chief Electoral Officer, Frederick Roy Kharkongor was quoted as saying by news agency IANS referring to Meghalaya. Balloting in 183 polling stations will be webcast, to be made available at the offices of Chief Electoral Officer or District Electoral Officer and the Election Commission of India, Mr Kharkongor said.
Electronic voting machines with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines are being used for voting in Nagaland, news agency PTI reported.
In Nagaland, a total of 11,76,432 voters, comprising of 5,97,281 men, 5,79,151 women and 5,884 service voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise during the day to decide the fate of 195 candidate, PTI reported.
Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha said of the 2,156 polling stations in Nagaland, 1,100 have been declared critical, 530 vulnerable and 526 normal, news agency PTI reported.
Officials said many as 281 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), beside the state police force have been deployed throughout Nagaland to ensure peaceful polling.
Polling is underway at a polling station in Peren district's Jalukie, news agency ANI reported. Long queue of voters was seen outside the polling booth this morning.
Polling is underway at Shillong model polling station North, news agency ANI reported. Congress' Roshan Warjri is the sitting legislator from North Shillong.
With polling underway in Meghlaya and Nagaland, PM Narendra Modi tweeted this morning and asked the voters to come out in large numbers.
Meghalaya has a history of fractured mandates and fragile coalition since attaining statehood in 1972. 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.
Voting began in Meghalaya's Shillong after it was delayed due to issues with EVM.
Voting begins for 59 seats each in Meghalaya and Nagaland, news agency ANI reported.
In Meghalaya, voters were seen queued up outside Chengkompara-25 polling station in Ampatigiri in the morning, news agency ANI reported. CM Mukul Sangma is the sitting legislator from the constituency.