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By Oken Jeet Sandham
KOHIMA, Feb 27 (NEPS): The single-phase Nagaland Assembly poll on Tuesday witnessed 75% turnout. This was 15.57% less than the last Assembly election when the poll percentage was recorded at 90.57%.
Polling was held in 59 of the total 60 assembly constituencies. Voting for the 11 Northern Angami – II Assembly constituency was not held as NDPP candidate Neiphu Rio was elected uncontested after his opponent NPF candidate Chupfuo Angami withdrew his candidature at the last date of withdrawal of nominations. Rio is also Chief Ministerial Candidate of NDPP.
Addressing a Press Conference at Kohima after the Polling was over, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Abhijit Sinha said today’s general elections to the Legislative Assembly passed off “peacefully and smoothly” with some sporadic incidents.
He, however, disclosed the polling percentage might go up as they were yet to scrutinize reports coming from far-flung areas of the State. By 11 AM tomorrow, they would be able to tell the exact poll percentage, he informed.
A total of 195 candidates including 5 women and 11 Independents were in the fray with over 11 lakh electorate exercising their franchise. Nine political parties – NPF, NDPP, BJP, NPP, JDU, NCP, LJP, AAP and INC and Independents – took part in the Elections.
He also disclosed that there were clashes between workers of NPF and BJP in Akuluto Assembly constituency under Zunheboto District. One person died in the clashes while two received injuries. However, polling continued, he added.
Polling at Polling Station No. 1-Ladeigrah of 49 Tamlu Assembly Constituency of Longleng District bordering Assam having 352 electors could not take place as Assam Armed Police prevented the Polling Personnel from proceeding to the Station.
The Assam administration has been claiming that the areas fall under disputed areas. Whereas Phom people said the Ladeigarh village was an “undisputed” Phom Naga Village under Tamlu Sub-division and RD Block in Longleng district having a Government Primary School recognized by the Government.
In 2009 Election, in this Polling Station, election could not be conducted due to obstruction by Assam Armed Police since 2007 though the said polling building is in existence since 2007.
About 13,000 polling personnel and more than 47,000 Police Personnel including CAPF were deployed during the polling across the State. Apart from the deployment of CAPF at every polling station, many other alternative arrangements were also done at critical polling stations.
Webcasting was done at 533 locations and all other Polling stations were covered with videography.
In order to ensure a peaceful and trouble-free security atmosphere, 5443 arms were deposited, while 530 hamlets were identified as vulnerable and confidence-building measures were taken in all these hamlets.
The CEO also thanked the voters of Nagaland who came out in large number to exercise their franchise, and who patiently stood in the queues awaiting their turn to vote.
He also thanked entire District Election Machinery and all the polling personnel deployed at Booths and all officials related with various processes of conduct of the poll, also thanked the State Police and Central Forces for their systematic and efficient deployment of police personnel to conduct a peaceful poll.
He also deeply complimented the media for their wide coverage of various activities of elections and also bringing various issues to the notice of Commission.
Counting of votes will be conducted on March 3.