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Polling for assembly election begins in Nagaland
March 05, 2008 09:20 IST
Polling for election to the 60-member Nagaland assembly began on Wednesday morning with a tight security blanket thrown across the state and for the fourth time under President's Rule.
Voters started lining up in front of booths before the polling began despite chilly conditions following a shower in the wee hours.
Over 13 lakh voters were expected to exercise their franchise to determine the fate of 218 candidates, including four women, with the run up to the election witnessing pre-poll violence.
Many political stalwarts, including two former chief ministers Neiphiu Rio and K L Chishi and Congress Legislature Party leader I Imkong, are in the fray.
Besides 10 political parties, including Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Nagaland People's Front, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Nationalist Congress Party, 33 Independents are also trying their electoral fortune.
Most constituencies would witness a direct contest between Congress and the Nagaland Peoples Front. Small political parties and Independents in the fray are likely to play a role in government formation.
Over 16,000 paramilitary personnel were deployed covering 1,780 polling stations to assist the police for smooth conduct of the elections with latest EVMs being used in the entire state.
Assam Rifles and army personnel were on intensified patrol across the state.
The Election Commission has adopted various measures this time, including involvement of grass-root level statutory bodies and deployment of micro observers, to prevent the rampant practice of proxy voting.