Tripura votes on Feb 18, Meghalaya, Nagaland on Feb 27, results on March 3
The Election Commission has announced the election dates for three north east states, viz., Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland on Thursday.
Election to states to happen in two rounds. Tripura will vote on February 18. 2017 (Sunday), while Meghalaya will vote on February 27 (Tuesday). Counting for all three states will be conducted on March 3, 2018. The results will be declared on the same day.
With the Election Commission announcing dates to these three states today, the model code of conduct comes into play and election campaigning by political parties will soon pick up pace.
Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti told reporters that Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura all have 60 seats each. EVM and VVPAT will be used in all three states, first level checks have been completed. Model code of conduct comes into effect from today. he added.
VVPATs and EVMs will be used in the three states. While EVMs have been used for the last 20 years in these three states, VVPATs will be deployed for the first time for the Assembly polls, Joti said. The limit of election expenditure in the three states shall be Rs. 20 lakh per candidate, he further said.
He said election officials have made good efforts to assure basic facilities and arrangements for people with special needs to help them vote. Voter assistance desk will be set up at every polling station, he adde.
Assembly elections are due in the north-eastern states in February-March this year. The terms of the Assemblies in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura - with 60 seats each - will expire on 6, 13 and 14 March respectively.
At present, Meghalaya has Congress government, with Mukul Sangana serving as a Chief Minister.
In Tripura, the current government is of CPI-M, with Manik Sarkar as CM; Also TR Zeliang is the CM of Nagaland, who comes from Nagaland People's Front.
Currently, The Congress is in power in Meghalaya, the Left Front is running Tripura and the Naga People's Front in alliance with the BJP is in charge in Nagaland.
Pending peace settlement with insurgent groups in Nagaland and issue of alleged dubious voters in Tripura is said to be the reason for slightly delayed announcement.
Meghalaya Assembly Elections 2018
The Meghalaya House, which comprises 60 seats, is currently headed by a Congress government which had won 29 seats in the 2013 legislative Assembly election. Mukul Sangma is the state's current CM.
The grand-old-party is in power for the last eight years in Meghalaya. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had brought more stability for the party, though the BJP is now looking to take Meghalaya using the development plank.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December opened several infrastructure projects ahead of assembly elections in Meghalaya.
Nagaland Assembly Elections 2018
The Left Front led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M) has been in power in Tripura since 1993.
It is seen as the strongest bastion of the Left in the country with Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, 68, completing his fourth term.
This time, the BJP is eyeing the state and has got a boost after six Trinamool Congress and one Congress legislator joined the party.
The BJP is also trying to form an alliance with regional parties to consolidate anti-Left votes.
Janta Dal (United) aka JDU has decided to contest assembly polls alone in Nagaland. The party is currently in alliance with NPF and BJP in the state.
Tripura Assembly Elections 2018
Tripura, ruled by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar's Left Front, has to elect a new assembly by March 6. The terms of the Meghalaya and Nagaland assemblies end on March 13 and 14.
Mukul Sangma's Congress government rules Meghalaya and in Nagaland, the Naga People's Front-led Democratic Alliance, backed by the BJP, is in power with TR Zeliang as Chief Minister.
The Nagaland government had asked for the election to be put off until there is a solution to the insurgency in the state.
The Tripura BJP unit had earlier complained to EC about one lakh "fake" names in the electoral rolls.
Currently, BJP has formed a government in 19 states. It will be interesting to seehow the saffron party will go about the elections.
2018 will witness a fierce battle for power for eight states which includes the above mentioned Northeast states along with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.