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75 per cent turn-out in Nagaland polls

Last updated on: March 05, 2008 19:51 IST

Estimated 75 per cent voters on Wednesday cast their votes to elect their representatives to the Nagaland Assembly from 60 constituencies spread across 10 districts of insurgency-affected hill state under heavy presence of police and paramilitary force personnel.


Sources said the final polling figures from the constituencies will be available only on Thursday as reports from far-flung polling areas were being awaited.


Officials said that polling was by-and-large peaceful all over the state barring a few stray incidents of violence in some parts of the state.


Over 13 lakh voters were expected to participate in the democratic exercise to seal the fate of 218 candidates, including four women and many heavyweights such as former chief ministers Neiphu Rio of Nagaland People's Front and his arch rival and Congress Legislature Party leader, I Imkong. There are 33 Independents in the fray.


The Congress, which was exuding confidence to achieve the magical figure of 31 in the House, is now expressing its willingness for post-poll alliance with 'like-minded'

political parties.


On the other hand, four-party alliance DAN, comprising Nagaland People's Front (NPF), BJP, NCP and JD(U), claims the coalition will sail through without the help of Independents. In such a situation small regional political groups and elected Independent will have a definite role to play in government formation in case of a hung Assembly.


The Congress stronghold in Mokokchung district, which hogged headlines for large-scale pre-poll violence, recorded over 75 per cent polling.


Polling in 14 booths under Satakha and Aghunato Assembly segments in Zunheboto district could not be done after officials had failed to reach the remote booths due to non-availability of vehicles. The re-polling is likely to be held in those booths even as the Election Commission has ordered a probe into the failure of poling officials to reach their designated booths.

K Anurag in Guwahati