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Till 1 pm, 56 per cent polling in Nagaland assembly poll: 1 dead and 3 injured in violence

Till 1 pm, 56 per cent polling in Nagaland assembly poll: 1 dead and 3 injured in violence

Kohima: A voter turnout of 56 percent has been recorded in Nagaland Assembly elections till 1 p.m.

Till 9 am, Nagaland saw 17 percent voter turnout but by 11 a.m. the voter turnout rose to 39 percent.

Voting is currently underway for 59 out of 60 seats.

Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDDP) chief Neiphiu Rio has been declared elected unopposed from the Northern Angami-II constituency.

Voting has been by and large peaceful, except a couple of incidents. In one case a bomb was hurled at a polling station in the wee hours in Mon district’s Tizit which injured one person.

In another incident, one person died and two others injured after two groups from NPF and NDPP clashed at Akuluto AC 31 constituency in Zunheboto district in Nagaland.

There are reports of firing as well. However, polling has continued at both the places.

Polling had started at 7 am, but due to malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, voting in around 100 polling stations got delayed, the CEO said.

Chief Minister T R Zeliang and his family members cast their votes in Jalukie town of Peren district.

A total of 11,76,432 voters -- 5,97,281 men, 5,79,151 women and 5,884 service voters -- are eligible to exercise their franchise in the Nagaland polls.

There were no third-gender voters in the state, while the number of first-time voters was 26,900, Assistant Chief Electoral Officer Awa Lorin said.

Voting will continue till 4 pm, except in some polling stations of the interior districts where it will end at 3 pm, election office sources said.

Officials said as many as 281 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), besides the state police force, have been deployed throughout Nagaland to ensure peaceful polling.

Out of the 2,156 polling stations in the state, 1,100 were declared as "critical", 530 "vulnerable" and 526 "normal".

All the polling stations would be manned by the CAPF personnel and the state police would also be assisting them.

Following this no-election diktat, the political parties had initially kept away from the poll process and the first batch of 22 contestants filed their candidature only on the penultimate day on February 5, though the filing of nominations had begun on January 31.

There was a heavy rush of nominees filing their papers on the last day.

The BJP, which is determined to expand its footprint in the north-east after forming governments in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh is relying on its partner, the NDPP.

In Nagaland, the saffron party's hope hinges on its alliance partner NDPP, which is contesting from 40 seats.

The BJP has fielded candidates from the remaining 20 seats.

The Congress, which has given three chief ministers to Nagaland since the state's inception in 1963, is contesting from only 18 seats, two less than the BJP.

The results of the polls, along with those of Tripura and Meghalaya, will be declared on March 3. 

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