Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura to vote next month

Thursday 18th January 2018 06:28 EST

The Election Commission has announced the assembly poll schedule for Tripur, Meghalaya and Nagaland. While Tripura will go to polls on February 18, Meghalaya and Nagaland will vote on February 27. The results for all the three states will be declared on March 3.

Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura all have 60 seats each. Tripura has to elect a new assembly by March 6. The terms of the Meghalaya and Nagaland assemblies end on March 13 and 14.

"Model code of conduct comes into effect from today," Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said, adding that "EVM (electronic voting machine) and VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) will be used in all three states, first level checks have been completed."

The Left Front has been in power in Tripura since 1993 and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is in his fourth term. This time, the BJP is hoping to change that and increase its northeast scorecard after six Trinamool Congress and one Congress lawmaker joined the party.

The Congress-led government of Mukul Sangma has ruled for eight years in Meghalaya, which has seen years of political instability. The party faces a big challenge from the BJP, which has an alliance with the Manipur National People's party founded by PA Sangma, a former Congressman who died in 2016.

In Nagaland, the Naga People's Front-led Democratic Alliance, backed by the BJP, is in power with TR Zeliang as Chief Minister. In the past year, the state confronted a political crisis with the Chief Minister changing twice. A large section of the state wants the election to be put off until there is a solution to the insurgency and the peace process is complete. These elections are seen as critical ahead of the national polls next year.

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