The counting of votes for the Assembly elections in three Northeastern states - Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura -began on Saturday amid tight security. The election results will be declared on the Election Commission of India's website.
The results in Tripura are perhaps the most remarkable where the Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to form the government - an unprecedented first in state that has been held by the CPM-led Left for over two decades now.
In Meghalaya, the Congress has taken a strong lead with CM Mukul Sangma leading in Ampati constituency. Party leaders Kamal Nath and Ahmed Patel are headed to Shillong amid fears of horse-trading.
In Nagaland, the NPF+ seems set to retain power, marching past the BJP-NDPP alliance, whose CM face Neiphiu Rio has already won unopposed from Northern Angami-II.
Counting of votes began from 8 AM in all the states amid tight security. Meanwhile, the BJP has emerged as a strong contender in all the three states and two exit polls have predicted that the party would dethrone the 25-year-old Left Front government in Tripura and consolidate its position in Nagaland and Meghalaya.
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In Meghalaya, which went to polls on February 27, BJP will be challenging the Congress, which has been in power for the last ten years. While the Congress has been ruling Meghalaya for 10 years. The Congress has fielded 59 candidates, while the BJP put up nominees in 47 constituencies. For the first time, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma is contesting from two seats.
Read more: Coverage of Meghalaya Assembly Election :
In Nagaland, BJP has joined hands with the NDPP that was floated by former chief minister Neiphiu Rio. The NDPP is contesting on 40 seats and the saffron party on 20. The Congress, which has given three chief ministers to Nagaland since the state's inception in 1963, is contesting only in 18 seats, two less than the BJP. The Naga People's Front (NFP) has been in power in Nagaland since 2003, except for a three-month period of President's rule in 2008.
Re-polling was ordered at 13 polling stations across nine constituencies in Nagaland following reports of snatching of EVMs, misuse of electoral photo identity cards and miscreants not allowing voters to exercise their franchise.
Read more: Coverage of Nagaland Assembly Election :
In Tripura, which went to polls on February 18, the BJP has emerged as a strong contender in all the three states and two exit polls have predicted that the party would dethrone the 25-year-old Left Front government in Tripura and consolidate its position in the other two states. However, a third exit poll predicts a close contest between the CPM and the BJP in the 60-member assembly.
Votes would be counted in presence of the candidates and agents under the supervision of the respective district returning officers and assistant returning officers.
Read more: Coverage of Nagaland Assembly Election