Assembly polls in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland announced

Assembly polls in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland announced

Assembly elections in Tripura will be held on February 18, while Meghalaya and Nagaland will go to polls on February 27.

The counting of votes in three states will be held on March 3, Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti said, while addressing a press-conference along with Election Commissioners, A K Rawat and Sunil Arora, to announce the schedule of the state assembly polls in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

The BJP, which is in power in the centre, has over the past few years emerged as the principal challenger to the ruling CPI (M)-led Left Front in Tripura, replacing Congress and Trinamool Congress. The Naga People's Front an ally of the BJP in the National Democratic Alliance at the centre is in power in Nagaland, but plagued by infighting. The Congress is the principal opposition party in Nagaland and is expected to try to wrest control of the state. The BJP, along with its local allies, would try to oust the Congress government led by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.

The three states are the first to go to polls after the Union government introduced electoral bonds to "cleanse the system of political funding in the country".

The Chief Election Commissioner said that the electoral bonds were expected to ensure transparency in political funding and the EC would assess and take a view on efficacy of the newly introduced bonds during the polls in the three States.

Each of three states has 60 seats in its legislative assembly. The EC will set up 3082 polling stations for 1830104 voters in Meghalaya, 2187 for 1189264 voters in Nagaland and 3214 for 2569216 voters in Tripura.

The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail devices or VVPATs will be used in all the polling stations along with the Electronic Voting Machines.

"The EC already made arrangements to ensure availability of adequate number of the EVMs and VVPATs for the smooth conduct of elections," said Joti. He said that the VVPAT's paper slips for one polling stations in each assembly constituency would be counted in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura and it would be matched with the results of electronic counting by the EVMs.

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