Kohima, Mar 05 : Polling in the election of candidates to the 60-member assembly in Nagaland saw around 35 to 40 per cent of the 1.3 million voters exercising their franchise till noon today.
Election officials said, "A large number of voters braved the chilly weather and rain to cast their votes at polling stations throughout the state to seal the fate of 218 candidates including four women, contesting the 60 Assembly seats."
"Minor incidents of clashes, chasing of voters, snatching of electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported from Mokukchung, Zunheboto and Okha Districts," the local police said.
The overall situation was peaceful in the state that is under President's Rule.
The main contest is between the Nagaland People's Front (NPF) and the Congress. While the NPF is contesting 56 seats, the Congress is contesting all the 60 seats.
Over 16,000 paramilitary personnel have been deployed in and around 1,780 polling stations to assist the local police in the smooth conduct of elections.
Assam Rifles and army personnel intensified patrolling across the state.
The Election Commission involved grass-root level statutory bodies and micro observers in the polling process to prevent proxy voting.
The BJP and the NCP have fielded their candidates in 23 and 8 seats, respectively.
Prominent leaders seeking re-election include two former chief ministers Neiphiu Rio (NPF) and K L Chishi (Congress). CLP leader I. Imkong will contest from Jamgpetkong constituency in Mokokchung District against NPF candidate Dr I Longri.
The counting of votes will take place on March 7.