TODAY -

EC announces Assembly poll dates for Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura Nagaland, Meghalaya to vote on Feb 27
Source: The Sangai Express / Courtesy - TOI

New Delhi, January 18 2018: The Election Commission on Thursday announced two-phased Assembly polls in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura on February 18 and 27, with counting for all three States scheduled for March 3 .

While Tripura shall go to polls in the first phase on February 18, voters in Meghalaya and Nagaland will cast their franchise on February 27 .

The BJP, buoyed by its recent victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and having formed its first Government in Assam in 2016 followed by Manipur in 2017, is looking at expanding its base in the North Eastern States.

For the Congress, which is in power in Meghalaya, the electoral fight in the three North Eastern States will be a challenge given its fading profile in the region.

The real fight to watch out for would be in Tripura where Left has been in power for long and continues to have an upper hand.

In Nagaland, the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland and BJP are in a coalition Government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last week launched BJP's poll campaign from Meghalaya, inaugurating a road project and committing an investment of Rs 90,000 crore in the next two to three years for building roads and highways in the North Eastern region.

Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti, who was flanked by Election Commissioners OP Rawat and Sunil Arora at the media briefing to announce polls in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, said there would be 100% deployment of voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units in all the three States.

Also, VVPAT results will be tallied in one polling station each of every Constituency of the poll-going States.

Joti later added that a similar tallying in four polling stations of Goa, 182 polling stations in Gujarat and 68 polling stations in Himachal Pradesh so far had yielded a 100% match between VVPAT count and EVM result.

The model code of conduct shall immediately come into effect in Meghalya, Tripura and Nagaland, said the CEC.

Though some Lok Sabha bypolls are also due in Gorakhpur and Phulpur in UP, Araria in Bihar and Anantnag in J&K the schedule for the same is yet to be announced.

CEC Joti said the Lok Sabha poll in UP cannot be announced as of now as the electoral rolls for the poll-bound seats with January 1, 2018 as the reference date will be published only on February 9 .

The bypolls must be held on the basis of the new electoral rolls, as per norms.

Anantnag bypoll, which was postponed in mid-2017 due to law and order concerns, is likely to be held after the panchayat polls in J&K are held.

CEC Joti, when asked whether EC would be sending its recommendation in the office-of-profit case against 20 AAP MLAs in Delhi Assembly, to the President before he demits office next week, said he would not like to comment on a sub-judice matter.


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