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Tripura, Meghalaya & Nagaland to vote on February 18, 27

Thursday,18 Jan 2018 07:35 PM IST

Media Eye News Bureau: The Election Commission announced the polling dates of three northeastern statesTripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, setting the stage for the first round of elections in 2018, prior to the much-anticipated battle in Karnataka in April,and later in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh at the end of the year.

Nagaland and Meghalaya will go to polls on February 27 where as the date of polling in Tripura will be February 18, Chief Election Commissioner A.K Joti said while announcing the poll schedule. Chief Election Commissioner also announced the Model Code of Conduct with immediate effect.

Counting will be done on March 3, simultaneously for all the three states, comprising 60 seats each.

Tripura is considered to be as a strong political bastion of the Communist Party of India (Marxist),CPI-M, where it dictates the matter in the state since 1993. Manik Sarkar runs the show in the state since he became the Chief Minister in1998.

The Congress-led government of Mukul Sangma has ruled for eight years in Meghalaya, which always witnessed political instability. BJP stands as a big challenge for the Congress, which made alliance with the Mnaipur National People's party founded by former Congress PA Sangma, who died in 2016.

The Naga People's Front-led Democratic Alliance, backed by the BJP, is in power in Nagaland, with TR Zeliang as Chief Minister. Political crisis loomed over the state many times with the Chief Minister changing twice, in the past year.  

A.K Joti said electronic voting machines and VVPATs (voter verifiable paper audit trail) will be used in all the three states to enhance transparency and credibility of the election process.

In Tripura, filing of nomination will open on January 24 and the last day for this will be January 31. Scrutiny of nominations will be done on February 1 and the last day for withdrawal is February 3.

In Meghalaya and Nagaland, nominations open on January 31 and close on February 7. Scrutiny will be done on on February 8 and the last day for withdrawals is February 12.

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