Counting of votes begins in Nagaland

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Kohima, Mar 8 : Counting of votes for the Nagaland Assembly began today at 12 centres across the state for the 60 Assembly seats. Broad trends of final results are expected by noon.

Both the Congress and the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) claimed that they would win at least 25 seats each and have kept their doors open for like-minded parties and Independents to form the next government in the state which went to the polls on March 5.

Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader I Imkong said that his party was hopeful of winning a simple majority, but in the event of a fractured mandate, the party would seek support from the NCP, the RJD and Independents.

On Friday, the Nagaland People's Front (NPF)-led DAN expressed confidence that they would muster a working majority to form the next government.

Former chief minister Neiphiu Rio said that the four-party alliance DAN would seek support from like-minded parties and Independents in case the alliance failed to reach the magic figure of 31.

Political analysts said 45 seats are likely to be equally shared by Congress and DAN leaving 15 others, comprising smaller parties and independents, to determine the government formation.

The political parties that contested the poll are Congress - 60, NPF - 56, BJP - 23, RJD - 25, NCP - 8, JD(U) - 3, JD(S) - 4, LJP - 3, United Naga Democratic Party (UNDP) - 2, Adarsh Political Party - 1 and Independents - 33.

ANI

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