Counting Bell Ringing In Three Northeastern States

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Agartala: The counting of votes for the Assembly elections in three Northeastern states Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura — will be held on Saturday amid tight security, officials said.

Counting would begin from 8 AM in all the states amid tight security, Election Commission officials said. Though BJP has emerged as a strong contender in all the three states and two exit polls have predicted that the party would dethrone the 25-year-old Left Front government in Tripura and consolidate its position in the other two states.

While Tripura went to the polls on February 18, elections were held in Nagaland and Meghalaya on February 27.Though the strength of each of the Assemblies in the three states is 60 members, voting was held for 59 constituencies in all of them, for different reasons.

While the Congress has been ruling Meghalaya for 10 years, the Naga People’s Front (NFP) has been in power in Nagaland since 2003, except for a three-month period of President’s rule in 2008.

In Nagaland, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) chief Neiphiu Rio was declared elected unopposed.In Nagaland, the BJP has joined hands with the NDPP that was floated by former chief minister Neiphiu Rio. The NDPP is contesting on 40 seats and the saffron party on 20.

In Meghalaya, the Congress fielded 59 candidates, while the BJP put up nominees in 47 constituencies. For the first time, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma is contesting from two seats.

“Adequate security measures have been made for the counting centres. Counting halls were also ready. General observers and police observers were appointed for all the counting halls,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura Tapas Ray said.

In Nagaland, 349 tables in 17 centres across the state would be set up for counting on Sunday, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Abhijit Sinha, said.

Meghalaya Chief Electoral Officer F R Kharkongor said a three-tier security arrangement has been made at all the 13 counting centres and 11 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have been deployed here for the counting process.

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