75% Voter Turnout In Nagaland Polls Amid Sporadic Violence Kohima
Nagaland recorded around 75 percent voter turnout in the assembly election yesterday, amid sporadic violence which led to the death of a person in Zunheboto district.
Polling was held in 59 out of the total 60 constituencies as Neiphiu Rio, the three-time former chief minister and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party candidate was elected unopposed in Northern Angami-II seat.
State chief electoral officer Abhijit Sinha said the polling percentage was on the basis of voting till 4:30 pm and the figure was likely to go up as voting was completed in 1,500 out of the 2056 booths across the state till then.
In 2013 state assembly polls, voter turnout was 90.19 percent.
Sinha said in the violence at Akuluto constituency in Zunheboto district, which witnessed a straight contest between the parliamentary secretary and NPF candidate K Khekaho Assumi and BJP candidate Kazheto Kinimi, in the morning claimed one life and left two injured.
The clash was reportedly between supporters of the ruling Naga Peoples' Front and the BJP. Police fired blank rounds to disperse the party workers and voting resumed after the situation was brought under control, Sinha said.
According to the chief electoral officer, a village council member received a minor injury in a leg in a blast at a room adjacent to a polling station in Tizit village under Tizit constituency in Mon district.
Polling in the booth was, however, unaffected, he said, adding some arrests were made in both cases of violence.
Sinha said voting could not be held at Ladigarh polling station under Tamlu Assembly constituency in Longleng district along the Nagaland-Assam border due to the tension there.
The decision of holding polls there will be decided by the election commission, he said.
Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang and his family cast their vote at GMS-Sector-B in Jalukie Town of Peren district.
Voting could not be held in a polling station at Suthotsdu village in Phek district as a mob barged in and damaged the electronic voting machines (EVMs). In Tizit constituency, some people snatched EVMs, while a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine in a Zangtham polling booth was also snatched. The EVM was retrieved but the VVPAT has not been found yet, Sinha said.
He said four EVMs and 95 VVPAT machines, which malfunctioned, were replaced.
As many as 11,76,432 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in 2,156 polling stations in the state.
Of the 195 candidates in the fray, five were women. Naga People's Front (NPF) fielded 58 candidates, Congress 18, BJP 20, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) 39, National People's Party (NPP) 25, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 6, Janata Dal (U) 13, Aam Aadmi Party 3, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) 2 for the polls, while 11 were Independent candidates.
Officials said besides the state police force, 281 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), were deployed across Nagaland to ensure peaceful polling.
State chief electoral officer said of the 2,156 polling stations in the state, 1,100 were declared as critical, 530 vulnerable and 526 normal.
Counting of votes would be held on March 3.