Kohima, Mar 8: Congress is leading by 19 seats and dan by 23 seats in60-member Nagaland Assembly polls. The counting of votes was started at 1100 hrs today. Nagaland Chief Electoral officer C J Ponraj, in a release issued here, said the counting was supposed to begin at 0800 hrs today simultaneously in 60 tables spread in 12 Electoral Districts of Nagaland. However, according to the new directives of the ECI, the counting will begin today at 1100 hrs. The ECI did not specify the reason for the delay in the counting. It is likely that some results may not reach by today itself in the state.
The fate of 218 candidates, including four women, and ten political parties and Independents will be decided in the counting. CEO Ponraj informed that the counting would be taken up simultaneously at 60 tables in 12 Electoral District headquarters.
Dimapur district has five Constituencies, Peren two, Kohima seven, Pughoboto one, Phek five, Mokokchung ten, Zunheboto six, Wokha four, Mon nine, Longleng two, Tuensang six and Kiphire three Constituencies.
The Congress has fielded 60 candidates for all the Assembly constituencies, while Nagaland Peoples Front (NPF) fielded 56, followed by the RJD 25, BJP 23, NCP eight, Janata Dal(S) four, Lok Janashakti Party three, Adarsh Political Party one and Independents 33.
Among the prominent contestors are Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio from Northern Angami-II Constituency on NPF ticket, former Chief Minister K L Chishi on Congress ticket from Dimapur-I Constituency, Nagaland Assembly Speaker Kiyanilie peseyie on NPF ticket from Western Angami Constituency and Deputy Speaker E E Pangteang on NPF ticket from Moka A/C under Mon district.
Four women candidates comprise JD(U) candidate Zeneisele from Dimapur-I, Independent candidate Rosemary Jamir from Alongtaki Constituency under Mokokchung district, NCP candidate Rhakilla from Tuensang Sadar-II and BJP candidate Soly from Pungro-Kiphire Constituency under Kiphire district. Altogether, 52 former Ministers are contesting among the 218 contestants in the Assembly election, there were direct contest between the Congress and NPF in 17 Assembly Constituencies.
Thonoknyu has the maximum number of candidates with nine contestants, followed by Tyui and Bhandari Constituencies under Wokha district with eight each. Meanwhile, the Election Secretariat had arranged for the results of the counting to be declared smoothly today, which can be accessed either through the Election Commission of India's website (eci.gov.in) or Nagaland Election Department's website (ceonagaland.nic.in).
This is being done with a view to making the election results easily accessible by all interested parties. Trial runs by the districts have been made in collaboration with the NIC state unit.
A total of 31 Election Observers, 20 General Observers and eleven Expenditure Observers had overseen the election process in various districts. A total of 43,000 security force personnel had been deployed, including those from the Assam Rifles, CRPF, BSF, Indian Reserve Battalion, besides over 10,000 state police, 500 Home Guards and 5,800 village guards.