Nagaland Assembly bypolls in two constituencies recorded 83.69 polling on Tuesday.

The polling was held amid strict adherence to Covid19 safety measures and tight security across 99 polling stations in the two Assembly seats.

Election officials said the polling in the two seats – 14 Southern Angami-I in Kohima district and 60 Pungro-Kiphirein Kiphire district – ended peacefully at 4 pm.

Also read: Nagaland bypolls: 55% electorates cast vote till 2 p.m

Briefing the media in Kohima, chief electoral officer Abhijit Sinha said the polling percentage till 5 pm was 83.69.

He said 60 Pungro-Kiphire seat recorded 89.8% polling while 70.4% of the electors cast their votes in 14 Southern Angami-I constituency.

Sinha said the polling process was by and large peaceful except in polling station 11 at Singrep village in Pungro-Kiphire where law and order situation was reported.

He said repoll will be conducted at the polling station which will be announced later.

Sinha said all Covid19 protocols were put in place and face masks and hand sanitizers were provided and thermal screenings done in all the polling stations.

Sinha also said five high-risk patients cast their votes under Southern Angami-I seat.

He said Rs 14.21 lakh, including cash, liquor and drugs, was seized in both the constituencies till Monday.

The CEO also informed that scrutiny of polling documents will be done by returning officers of the respective districts along with election observers, candidates and representatives at 11 am on Wednesday.

The counting of votes will take place on November 10.

All the eight candidates – three in Souther Angami constituency and five in Pungro-Kiphire constituency – cast their votes in their respective polling stations early this morning, Sinha added.

The Southern Angami-I constituency fell vacant following the death of former Nagaland Assembly Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshü on December 30 while the bypoll to Pungro-Kiphire constituency was necessitated after the death of NPF legislator T Torechu on December 16 last year.

Medo Yhokha from the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Kikovi Kirha from Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) and Independent candidate Seyievilie Peter Zashumo are contesting from Souther Angami constituency.

Khaseo Anar from Congress, BJP’s Lirimong Sangtam, Independent candidates S Kiusumew Yimchunger, Lithriyem Dupongle, K Shellumthong Yimchunger and T Yangseo Sangtam are the candidates for the Pungro-Kiphire seat.

A scuffle was reported between NDPP and NPF functionaries at Jakhama town-I polling station 12 under Southern Angami-I constituency.

The NDPP has demanded repoll in the polling station.

In a complaint letter to Kohima district electoral officer, the NDPP said genuine voters were not allowed to cast their votes in the polling station by NPF functionaries by forcefully restricting them at the national highway.

The party also said hundreds of voters were threatened and intimated and not allowed to cast their votes.

However, the NPF refuted the NDPP’s allegations, saying the complaint lodged by the ruling party is baseless and an expression of their frustration as their ill motive of disturbing peaceful polling could not be fulfilled.

The party said some top functionaries of the NDPP, led by its working president Alemtemshi Jamir, went to Jakhama town with the intention to disturb the polling process in polling station number 12 followed by 2 party legislators, Pukhai and Zhaleo Rio, along with some unidentified youths, who are not voters of the Southern Angami seat.

The NPF demanded that these NDPP members should be strictly dealt with and booked as per provisions of the law for alleged violation of the model code of conduct.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com