Assembly Elections 2018: High-Octane Campaign in Meghalaya, Nagaland Ends



The high-octane poll campaign for Meghalaya Assembly Elections 2018and Nagaland Assembly Elections 2018 came to an end on Sunday. Voting in the two states, both having 60-member assemblies, will take place on Tuesday, February 27. Voting will take place for 59 seats each in Meghalaya and Nagaland. The results will be declared on March 3 along with that of Tripura, where elections were held on February 18.
There are 370 candidates in the fray in Meghalaya whose fate would be decided by EVMs on February 27. A total of 18.4 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at 3,083 polling stations in the state.
Chief Electoral Officer F R Kharkongor said 67 all-women polling stations and 61 model polling stations have been set up for the first time in the state. Thirty-two women are in the fray, the maximum so far in electoral politics in the state, he said.

A total of 11,91,513 voters, including 5,89,806 women will exercise their franchise on February 27. Voting will be held in 2,156 polling stations as 40 polling stations falls under the Northern Angami-II seat, from where Rio has won unopposed.

Election process in Nagaland started on a difficult note. In view of no-election diktat from the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations advocating “solution (to the Naga political issue) before election” , political parties initially kept away from poll.

Though filing of nominations started on January 31, the first batch of 22 contestants filed their nominations only on the penultimate day on February 6. The last day saw heavy rush of nominees filing papers. After scrutiny and withdrawal, a total of 227 nominees are left in the field.

The BJP is making a determined bid to expand its footprint in the Northeast, buoyed by formation of its governments in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The party’s resolve could be gauged from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself spearheaded the campaign. Party chief Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, I&B minister Smriti Irani and a host of other leaders also chipped in.

Meghalaya, in particular, is important for the Congress, which has ruled it for 10 years. From the Congress, its president Rahul Gandhi campaigned in the state. Its media chief Randeep Singh Surjewala and MP Shashi Tharoor extended helping hands.

With a total of 25 Lok Sabha seats and 14 Rajya Sabha berths, the eight states of the region are crucial for the BJP to add up to its number in 2019 general election. At present, the BJP has eight Lok Sabha members from the region, and the Congress has seven.

In Meghalaya, election has been countermanded in Williamnagar in the wake of the killing of NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma in an IED blast during campaigning. In Nagaland, NDPP chief Neiphiu Rio has been declared elected unopposed from the Northern Angami-II constituency.
Source-India Switch to Hindi

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