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Congress surges ahead in Nagaland vote-count
March 08, 2008 10:52 IST
Last Updated: March 08, 2008 15:37 IST
Congress on Saturday surged ahead of its rival Nagaland People Front in Nagaland assembly polls, bagging 11 of the 15 seats declared till 1500 hours.
The four other seats have been shared evenly by the NPF and independents.
Trends available from 35 other constituencies showed that Congress was ahead in 14 seats and the NPF in 13, NCP, BJP and JD(S) in two each and RJD and independent in one seat each.
Polling for the 60-member assembly was held on March five and counting was taken up for 57 seats as re-polling was ordered in three constituencies.
Former Nagaland deputy speaker and Congress candidate Joshua Sumi won the Pughoboto seat by a margin of 432 votes defeating his closest rival of NPF Y Vikheho, the former NSF president.
C Apok Jamir of Congress defeated his closest rival by 626 votes at Mokokchung town seat.
Congress fielded candidates in all the 60 seats, NPF-56, BJP-23, RJD-25, NCP-8, JD(U)-3 and there were 33 Independents in the fray.
Counting was going on at 12 centres across the state, but the exercise was a little slow because of communication bottlenecks between the state capital and district headquarters.
Supporters as well as enthusiastic people were seen waiting outside the counting centre at Kohima Arts College defying a downpour that started since early morning in capital Kohima.
The electoral fortune of leaders like former Chief Ministers Neiphiu Rio and K L Chishi (Congress) and CLP leader I Imkong among others will be decided on Saturday.
Nagaland was brought under President's Rule recently in the wake of fluid political situation and the state assembly was subsequently dissolved.
About 85 per cent of the 6,64,604-strong electorate had exercised their franchise in the March five polling.
In the last Assembly elections in 2003, Congress had won 21 seats but could not form the government as it fell far short of the simple majority.
NPF with nine legislators, BJP with seven and JD(U) with three formed a coalition along with four independents and the DAN ministry was sworn in after seven Congress legislators defected.
Though there was no seat adjustment between NPF and BJP this time and both parties are contesting on separate manifestos, a post-poll tie-up is likely.
Congress, which had got the highest 36 per cent votes last time, is also keeping its options open in case of a hung assembly.