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Polling begins in Meghalaya, Nagaland

February 23, 2013 09:47 IST

Polling began to elect 60 members to the ninth Meghalaya Assembly from among 345 candidates on Saturday with an electorate of 15.3 lakh.

The banned Khasi organisation, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, has called a 36-hour bandh from 6 pm on Friday till Saturday in the seven districts of Khasi and Jaintia Hills region.

Prominent candidates in the fray are Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh, Education Minister R C Laloo, Congress president D D Lapang, United Democratic Party president Don Kupar Roy, former Leader of Opposition and son of P A Sangma Conrad K Sangma and his brother James Sangma.

The Congress has put up candidates in all 60 seats, and ally United Democratic Party in 50.

Of the 15 parties in the fray, the P A Sangma-led National Peoples' Party is contesting at 32 seats, the Nationalist Congress Party at 21 and the Bharatiya Janata Party in 13.

Among the candidates are 25 women.

Of the 2,845 polling stations, 900 have been declared 'hyper-sensitive'.

Booths along the international border and the inter-state border with Assam have also been categorised as 'hyper-sensitive'.

The Border Security Force, which has been put on maximum alert along the

498-km border, has deployed 10,000 personnel.

Ninety-one companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state to maintain law and order and 44 companies in the militant-hit Garo Hills region.

Nagaland votes

Polling began amidst tight security on Saturday to elect 60 members to the 12th Nagaland Assembly from among 188 candidates with an electorate of 11.93 lakh eligible to vote.

Prominent candidates whose fates will be decided are Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio from Northern Angami II, Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie from Western Angami, Opposition Leader Tokheho Yepthomi from Dimapur III, Congress president SI Jamir from Dimapur II and former home minister Imkong L Imchen from Koridang.

There are 39 Independents and two women among the contestants.

The ruling Naga People's Front is the only party contesting all the 60 seats.

The opposition Congress is contesting 57 seats, followed by the NCP in 15, BJP in 11, Janata Dal-United in three, Rashtriya Janata Dal in two and the United Nagaland Democratic Party in one.

Of the 2,023 polling stations, 821 have been identified as sensitive and 662 as hypersensitive.

Altogether 255 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state for the elections.

Naga People's Front candidate and former home minister Imkong L Imchen was arrested on February 18 for allegedly carrying over Rs 1 crore in cash, arms and ammunition and liquor in his vehicle. He resigned subsequently.

Earlier on February 16, Rs 1 crore cash was seized from a helicopter allegedly being used by Nyemli Phom, another NPF candidate.

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