Voting for Meghalaya, Nagaland Assembly Elections Begin Today

The voting in both states have begun at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm.
Voting for Meghalaya, Nagaland Assembly Elections Begin Today
Voting for Meghalaya, Nagaland Assembly Elections Begin TodayREPRESENTATIVE

After high-voltage campaigns, the poll battles in the two key northeastern states of Meghalaya and Nagaland reached their finality as voters will decide the fate of candidates on Monday.

The voting in both states have begun at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm.

In Meghalaya, over 21 lahks (21,75,236) electorates, including 10.99 lakh women and 10.68 lakh men will decide the fate of 369 candidates.

There are about 81,000 first-time voters in the state.

Polling will be held at 3,419 polling stations across 59 Assembly constituencies in the state.

Of the 60 Assembly constituencies in Meghalaya, 36 fall in Khasi, Jaintia Hills region while 24 are in Garo Hills region.

There are about 81,000 first-time voters in the state.

As many as 369 candidates are in the fray of which 36 are women. Of the total candidates, 44 are contesting as Independents.

The ruling National People's Party (NPP), which is seeking to return to power, might have to contend with the anti-incumbency factor this time.

The current term of the 60-seat Meghalaya Legislative Assembly will conclude on March 15.

The majority mark to form government in the state is 31.

In the 2018 Assembly polls, the ruling National People's Party (NPP) got 19 seats, Congress bagged 21 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to win two seats. The United Democratic Party (UDP) grabbed six seats.

Though Congress emerged as the single largest party, the government was formed by the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) with support of the UDP, BJP and other regional parties.

This time, the BJP and NPP have not stitched any prepoll alliance and are going solo. BJP and Congress have fielded candidates in all the seats. The Trinamool Congress (TMC), which became the main opposition party in Meghalaya in 2021 following the defection of 12 Congress MLAs, became a formidable force, especially after former chief minister Mukul Sangma joined its ranks. TMC fielded candidates in 58 seats.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma is contesting from South Tura constituency while the BJP fielded Bernard N Marak against the NPP chief. In Dadenggre, Congress candidate Chesterfield Sangma is contesting against NPP's James Sangma.

Former CM Mukul Sangma is contesting from two seats -- Tikrikilla and Songsak on Trinamool's ticket. UDP leader Metbah Lyngdoh is contesting from Mairang. Further, NPP pitted Prestone Tynsong from Pynursla. UDP candidate Titosstar Well Chyne is contesting from Sohra.

The TMC has fielded Charles Pyngrope from Nongthymmai. BJP fielded Sanbor Shullai in South Shillong and Ernest Mawrie in West Shillong. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh is the NPP's candidate from East Shillong.

In Pynthorumkhrah, BJP fielded Alexander Laloo Hek. UDP leader Lahkmen Rymbui is contesting from Amlarem. In Sutnga Saipung, Congress fielded Vincent H Pala. UDP candidate Kyrmen Shylla is contesting from Khliehriat.

From NPP to BJP and Congress to Trinamool, parties showcased all might when it comes to campaigning. Be it poll promises or attacking contending forces with slogans, none remained on the back foot.

The Election Commission has deployed 119 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in Meghalaya.

Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya FR Kharkongor said 640 polling stations are identified as 'vulnerable', 323 are 'critical' and 84 are identified as both.

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However, in Nagaland, the BJP has already opened up its account in the State ahead of the polls as the party candidate Kazheto Kinimi won from the Akuluto seat uncontested after the Congress candidate withdrew his candidature.

After the withdrawal of candidature by Khekashe Sumi, the Nagaland Assembly elections will witness a total of 183 candidates, in the fray.

The candidates vying for the State polls include 20 from BJP, CPI (1), INC (23), NCP (12), NPP (12), NDPP (40), NPF (22), RPP (1), JD (U) (7), LJP (Ram Vilas) (15), RPI (Athawale) (9), RJD (3), and Independent (19).

It is pertinent to mention only four out of 183 candidates in the fray this time are women. Since it was established in 1963, the state of Nagaland has seen 14 Assembly elections -- but never a woman MLA.

A total of 13,17,632 voters, out of which 6,61,489 are male electors, and 6,56,143 are female will exercise their franchise to decide the fate of political parties and to elect their representatives of 60-members Nagaland Legislative Assembly.

The counting of votes in both states will be done on March 2.

(with inputs from ANI)

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