Assam police prevents polling in Ladigarh; 146 VVPATs & 65 EVMs replaced
Kohima, February 27: Nagaland recorded 75% voter turn, a decrease of 15.57% from that of 2013 elections, in the State Assembly polls held today. The state polls in 2013 was recorded a total turn-out of 90.57%.
The poll percentage was recorded till 4:30 p.m., said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nagaland, Abhijit Sinha while briefing media persons here tonight.
He also clarified that by 4:30 p.m., out of the 2056 polling stations in the State, voting was completed in 1500 while in some voting was continuing and therefore the final poll percentage is likely to increase.
Polling was held for 59 Assembly Constituency of the 60-member House as one seat under Kohima district – 11-Northern Angami-II was declared elected unopposed against three-time former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
Pughoboto election district, which is merely a single constituency, recorded highest turn out @ 88% while Dimapur and Peren districts with five and six A/Cs respectively recorded lowest turn-out @ 70% each, he said.
The overall polling passed off peacefully except for some sporadic incidents between supporters of candidates and also angry mob damaging the EVMs, he said.
At least one person has been killed and three others injured while polling could not be conducted in one polling station, he said.
One person died while two others suffered bullet injury in a clash between the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) and BJP at Akuluto Assembly Constituency under Zunheboto district, he said.
The deceased has been identified as Avika of Mapulumi village. He was stated to be an NPF supporter.
Police fired blank rounds to disperse the elements and voting continued after bringing the situation under control, he said. The CEO said that the clash occurred between groups of NPF and BJP at 11:10 am, he said.
Incumbent Parliamentary Secretary and NPF candidate K Khekaho Assumi and BJP candidate Kazheto Kinimi were on straight fight for the seat.
Earlier in the morning, the CEO informed that a blast occurred at an adjacent room of Polling Station-21 in Tizit village under 41-Tizit seat of Mon district.
“A handmade crude bomb was lobbed at 41 Assembly Constituency Tizit PS at around 5:45 am where one village council member, Yanlon sustained minor injury in the leg,” he said.
Nonetheless, the CEO said that polling processes continuing in the said booth while there have been no other reports of violence during the first three hours.
Confirming that some arrest has been made in both the cases of violence but further details awaited, he said.
Further, the CEO informed that due to the prevailing tension along Assam-Nagaland border, voting could not be held at Ladigarh polling station under 47-Tamlu A/C in Longleng district.
Assam claims the Ladigarh polling station falls under Disturbed Area Belt between the two states but since Nagaland claims it belongs to this side, he said Assam Police forcefully didn’t allow the conduct of polls there.
The CEO said that the ECI will decide on the conduct of polling in the said station.
The CEO also informed that polling could not be held in PS No-I Suthotsu village in Meluri sub-division, Phek district as mob forcefully entered the polling station and damaged the EVM.
In 41-Tizit A/C, Zangtham PS No 13, he said, a group snatched the EVMs and VVPAT machine while EVM has been retrieved VVPAT is not.
However, the CEO could not provide the actual number of arrest being made relating to today’s violence.
The CEO also informed that due to malfunctioning 64 EVMs and 151 VVPAT machines were replaced during the day, however with sufficient reserve of the machines the voting went on undisturbed, he said.
Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang along with his family cast vote at GMS-Sector-B, Keleilwa Colony Jalukie Town of Peren district.
Altogether 11,76,432 electorates comprising of 5,97,281 male and 5,79,151 female, and 5884 service voters were official registered in the electoral roll as on the last day of nominations to 13th Nagaland Assembly, that is, February 7 for the 59 Assembly seats spread across 2156 polling stations.
Of the 195 candidates in fray, NPF has 58, Congress – 18, BJP – 20, NDPP – 39, NPP – 25, NCP – 6, JD(U) – 13, AAP – 3, LJP – 2 and 11 Independents. Five women candidates are also contesting the polls.
The result of 2013 polls were: NPF – 38, Congress – 8, NCP – 4, BJP – 1, JD(U) – 1 and Independents – 8.
However, NPF tally rose to 48 with 8 Congress and one each NCP and JD(U) MLAs joining its fold while BJP rose 4 with 3 NCP’s merger.
In the present of 12th House 26 MLAs have resigned and joined different political parties to contest the polls leaving the strength of NPF at 29, BJP – 3 and 1 is Independent. One seat under Western Angami remained vacant following sitting MLA Kiyanielie Peseyie’s demise in September last year.
Out of the 2156 polling stations, 1062 were declared critical, 530 vulnerable and 564 normal polling stations, he said.
As of now, the CEO said, only two re-polls in Ladigarh and Zangtham are likely to happen but the final decision will be taken only after the scrutiny of poll documents tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Additional CEO N Moa Aier said that the Election Secretariat has received a total of 16 complaints from different political parties demanding re-poll in the 16 polling stations mainly with complaints of electorates not being allowed cast the vote and massive bogus voting. He said that the complaints have been forwarded to respective District Returning Officers for verification and submission of official report by tomorrow.
Scrutiny of the EVMs and VVPATS will be done tomorrow from 11 a.m. onwards while counting of votes would be taken up on March 3 from 8 a.m. onwards, the CEO added. (Page News Service)