Nagaland chief electoral officer (CEO) Abhijit Sinha on Sunday appealed to all the voters of the state to cast their votes ethically and responsibly in their respective polling stations in the bypoll to Nagaland Parliamentary constituency.
The polling will be held from 7am to 4pm on Monday.
The CEO circulated his appeal to the electorate through mobile SMS.
A total of 11,97,436 electorate will exercise their franchise in the by-election in 2196 polling stations spread across the state. There are 1723 polling stations in rural areas and 473 in urban areas.
The lone Lok Sabha seat in the state fell vacant after Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio resigned from lower House to contest the Assembly election in February.
The bypoll will witness a straight contest between ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) and Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidates. The PDA has fielded its major partner Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party member Tokheho Yepthomi against NPF candidate C. Apok Jamir. Both Tokheho and Apok contested last Assembly election unsuccessfully.
Altogether 225 polling stations will have web streaming and 275 polling stations offline videography. There are 211 vulnerable and 260 critical polling stations.
The state machineries are ready for any road obstructions with almost 20,000 personnel on polling duty, the CEO said.
On availability of EVMs and VVPATs, Sinha said there are 3196 ballot units, 3143 control units and 3075 VVPATs.
Meanwhile, the CEO has defended the action of Kohima deputy commissioner and district electoral officer Rajesh Soundararajan in serving show-cause notices to Nagaland University teachers with regard to their absence in the training for election duty.
Addressing a press conference in connection with the preparations for the by-election to the Nagaland parliamentary constituency in the conference hall of Nagaland commissioner’s office in Kohima on Saturday afternoon, the CEO said the teachers from Nagaland University had been on election duties in the past and that their deployment for the same was nothing illegal as per the People’s Representation Act 1951.
The DC issued show-cause notices to 13 university teachers on May 24 seeking their responses on the matter within a day.
Nagaland commissioner and returning officer M. Patton said the law and order situation in the state was conducive to conduct of election. He said those engaged for polling duty will be issued “Election Duty Certificate” to exercise their franchise from any of the voting centres.
On the complaint made by NDPP and BJP against NPF president Dr Shürhozelie Liezietsu for making alleged “inflammatory statement”, Patton said police have registered a case and investigation was in process.
He also stated that Phek deputy commissioner and assistant returning officer has taken preventive measures against the report that one village council under Meluri sub-division had decided to vote for a particular candidate and disallow the rest.