Polling begins in Meghalaya, Nagaland

Kohima/Shillong: Election to the 60-member Nagaland Assembly began at 7 am today amid a tight security as more than half of the 2,156 polling stations in the north-eastern state have been declared critical. Similarly, polling for the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly also began at 7 am today amid tight security with over 18 lakh voters eligible to exercise their franchise in more than 3,000 polling stations across the state.

With Nationalist Democratic People’s Party (NDPP) Chief Neiphiu Rio winning the Northern Angami-II seat unopposed, polling is being held in 59 seats in Nagaland. Voting will be held  in 59 seats in Meghalaya as well as the election in Williamnagar in East Garo Hills district has been countermanded, following the killing of NCP candidate Jonathane N Sangma in an IED blast on February 18.

Women voters in their colourful tribal attires were seen queuing up at the polling stations since morning.

Polling will be held till 4 pm across Meghalaya and Nagaland, except in some polling stations of the interior districts of Nagaland where it will end at 3 pm, election office sources said.

Nagaland’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Abhijit Sinha said, of the 2,156 polling stations in the state, 1,100 were declared as “critical”, 530 “vulnerable” and 526 “normal”.

All the polling stations would be manned by the CAPF personnel and the state police would also be assisting them, he added.

Meghalaya’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) F R Kharkongor said a total of 106 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) were deployed, along with the state armed personnel and police, especially in the troubled Garo Hills region.

He added that six additional companies of CAPF were deployed in the troubled East and South Garo Hills districts.