Counting for Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland assembly polls will start tomorrow morning
By Our Correspondent, 02/03/2018, Shillong/Kohima/Agartala


With amid tight security, the counting of votes for the assembly polls in three North Eastern Indian states - Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland will be held on March 3 (Saturday). The assembly poll in Tripura was held on February 18, while the elections in Meghalaya and Nagaland were held on February 27 last. Though the strength of the assembly of the three states is 60-member, but voting was held for 59 constituencies. While a CPI(M) was died in Tripura, a NCP candidate for Williamnagar constituency in Meghalaya, Jonathone N Sangma was killed by suspected Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants.

In Nagaland, Chief Ministerial candidate of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) Neiphiu Rio was declared elected unopposed. The BJP has emerged as a strong contender in all three states while the ruling parties facing big challenges from the saffron party.The exit polls predicted that BJP would be emerged as a strong contender in all three states and would dethrone the 25-year-old Left Front government in Tripura.Congress has been ruling in Meghalaya for 10 years, while Naga People's Front (NPF) is in power in Nagaland since 2003, except for a 3-month period of President’s rule in 2008.

Buoyed by the formation of governments in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, the saffron party is now eying to expand its footprints in other NE states. In Tripura, BJP has forged pre-poll alliance with the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT ). BJP had dumped its 15-year old alliance partner Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Nagaland and forged with newly formed political party Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) led by three times former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

Meanwhile, adequate security measures have been beefed up ahead of the election counting in the states. In Nagaland, the counting will be held at 17 centres and 13 counting centres in Meghalaya. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Nagaland Abhijit Sinha said that, votes would be counted in presence of candidates, polling agents of the political parties under the supervision of the respective district returning officer. Counting will begin from 8 am in all three states with amid security.