Judgment day in 3 North-East states; Tripura to get clear mandate?

Meghalaya Assembly election results 2018 Initial trends show close contest between Congress BJP

The counting of votes for the Assembly elections in three Northeastern states - Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura - will be held on Saturday amid tight security, officials said.

Tripura went to polls on February 18 and elections were held in Nagaland and Meghalaya on February 27.

Balloting in the Charilam (reserved for the tribals) has been deferred to March 12 after the death of a CPI-M candidate. 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. Tripura scripts record with over 92% electorate votes Over 92 per cent of Tripura's 2,536,589 voters cast their votes in the peaceful elections in 59 of the 60 Assembly seats, setting a new record in the electoral history of India, an official said.

The assembly polls in Nagaland witnessed a similar turnout as Meghalaya recording almost 75 per cent polling. In a first, Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma is contesting from two seats.

In Nagaland, former Chief Minister and NDPP candidate is already declared elected unopposed from Northern Angami-2 constituency.

Meanwhile, re-polling in six booths - Dhanpur, Sonamura, Teliamura, Kadamtala-Kurti, Ampinagar and Sabroom Assembly constituencies - following accusations from the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI (M) of improper election procedure, was held on Monday. The counting of votes in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland will begin at 8 am and results are expected by the afternoon.

In Nagaland, 349 tables in 17 centres across the state would be set up for counting on Sunday, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Abhijit Sinha, said.

The BJP, which is resolutely trying to make a "Congress-mukt Bharat", is eyeing both Meghalaya and Mizoram that will go to polls by the end of the year.

The Congress fielded candidates for all 59 constituencies but one of its candidates withdrew his nomination and joined the BJP.

However, the exit poll by CVoter stated that the Left front will win 26-34 seats with over 44 percent vote share, and the BJP-IPFT alliance will win 24-32 seats with over 42 percent vote share. However, the NPP took a U-turn at the last moment and backed the BJP, which had won 22 seats but formed the government with the support of allies.

The BJP had given a call for Chalo Paltai ( let's change) at the hustings in an all-out bid to wrest the state from Manik Sarkar whose charisma as a simple and humble chief minister helped the Left return to power in successive elections.

We've seen cases of parties getting over 40% votes and ending up with a handful of seats, and other cases of similar vote share leading to a landslide win.

NewsX, a national TV channel predicted a victory for the BJP alliance in 35 to 45 seats, 14 to 23 seats for the CPM and Left Front parties and one seat for "others".



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