Agartala/Shillong/Kohima: security arrangements were beefed up at all the counting centres in the three northeastern states which went to the polls on February 14 and 23, namely, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland. Counting was set to begin in these states on Thursday morning.
While the Left Front is confident of extending its ruling period in Tripura, Nagaland is set to witness a close fight between the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) and the opposition Congress. In Meghalaya, the Congress is optimistic of returning to power though all eyes will be set on the National People's Party (NPP), led by former Lok Sabha Speaker and Nationalist Congress Party leader P A Sangma.
The Election Commission has appointed an observer in each constituency (all three states have 60 seats each). There will also be micro-observers, counting supervisors besides other assisting officials. Three layers of security from central forces have been provided to the counting centres.
The Congress, which is in the opposition in Tripura, claimed that it would do well in this election, the Manik Sarkar-led Left government is confident of returning to power for the seventh term. The Left Front is in power in the state since 1993.
In Nagaland, the NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland is upbeat after psephologists expected the party to emerge as the single largest one in this election.