2023 poll cycle starts with 3 states in Feb

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Tripura to go to polls on Feb 16, Nagaland and Meghalaya on Feb 27. The results of all three states will be declared on March 2…reports Asian Lite News

The Election Commission on Wednesday announced the schedule for Assembly elections to the northeastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland to be held in February-March this year. The results of all three states will be declared on March 2, 2023.

“Voting for Assembly elections in Tripura will be held in a single phase on February 16 and in Nagaland and Meghalaya on February 27. The results will be declared on March 2,” Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said during a press conference. The Assembly polls in the northeastern states of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura were announced on Wednesday, thus beginning the election season in 2023.

The CEC said that the terms of the poll-bound states of in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura are coming to an end on March 12, 15, and 22 respectively.

“The term of Assemblies of respective states in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura are respectively due to expire on March 12, 15, and 22. The 3 states have 60 Assembly constituencies each,” the CEC said.

Detailing the number of voters in the poll-bound states, Kumar said, “There are more than 62.8 lakh electors combined in Nagaland, Meghalaya & Tripura including – 31.47 lakh female electors, 97,000 80+ voters, and 31,700 PwD voters. Over 1.76 lakh first-time voters to participate in the elections in 3 states.”

He also informed that there will be some polling stations managed completely by PwDs and women staff. Women will be in command in 376 PS across Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Noting that the three states have “terrain-related challenges”, Kumar reiterated the ECI’s commitment in conducting free and fair polls.

“The 3 states have terrain-related challenges, but the Commission is committed to participating free and fair participative accessible and ethical elections in these three states,” he said.

The CEC said that the officials from the Commission recently visited the three states and met the officials regarding the poll preparations and directed them to resort to “zero tolerance” for any kind of violence during the elections.

“We recently visited these three states from January 11 to 15, and met all the district collectors, SPs, DGs and all the enforcement agencies. There are only 2-3 states of the entire country in which pre-poll, during the poll or post-poll violence is left. there was no violence in the last 12 elections. With the help of the district administration, we have told them very clearly that society should have zero tolerance for any kind of violence during the elections,” he said. (ANI)

5 MLAs in poll-bound Meghalaya quit house, parties

Meghalaya Public Health Engineering Minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar and four other sitting MLAs of different parties, including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, resigned from the Assembly on Wednesday, hours before the Election Commission announced the election schedule for three northeastern states.

Tongkhar, who is a legislator of Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), Trinamool Congress MLA Shitlang Pale, suspended Congress MLAs Mayralborn Syiem and Process T. Sawkmie and Independent MLA Lambor Malngiang, submitted their resignation letter to Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh.

While Sawkmie would be inducted into the HSPDP at a later date, but the four others joined the United Democratic Party (UDP) in the presence of their supporters during a function held at the party office here on Wednesday.

Both HSPDO and the UDP are constituent of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, led by National People’s Party (NPP) fo Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma.

The BJP, with two MLAs (including a minister), is also a part of the 6-party MDA government.

So far, 18 Meghalaya MLAs have resigned from the House and their respective parties and joined different outfits in less than two months.

Twelve MLAs, led by former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma (2010-2018) who had won in the 2018 Assembly election as Congress nominees, joined the Trinamool in November 2021, making the West Bengal-based party the main opposition in the northeastern state overnight.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress won 21 seats in the 60-member Assembly but subsequently all its legislators joined other parties including the Trinamool and the NPP.

Of the 12 Trinamool MLAs, five so far have quit the party to joined other parties. The Election Commission on Wednesday announced polling will be held in Tripura on February 16 and in Nagaland and Meghalaya on February 27 and the counting of votes is scheduled for March 2.

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