Assembly elections will be held in the north-eastern States of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland in February-March and results in the three states will be declared on 2 March, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday.
“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 told a press conference.
“The terms of Assemblies of the respective states in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura are respectively due to expire on March 12, 15, and 22. The three states have 60 Assembly constituencies each,” the CEC said.
The Commission, after considering all relevant aspects, has decided to recommend to the Governors of the States of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura to issue notifications for the General Election under the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
The Commission has prepared the poll schedules after taking into consideration all relevant aspects like climatic conditions, academic calendar, board examination, major festivals, and prevailing law and order situation in the States, along with factors like the availability of Central Armed Police Forces and time needed for movement.
Detailing the number of voters in the poll-bound states, Mr Kumar said, “There are more than 62.8 lakh electors combined in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura including – 31.47 lakh female electors, 80-years plus voters, and 31,700 persons with disabilities voters. Over 1.76 lakh first-time voters will participate in the elections in the three states.”
He said that there will be some polling stations managed completely by PwDs and women staff. Women will be in command in 376 polling stations across Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura. Noting that the three states have “terrain-related challenges”, Mr Kumar reiterated the ECI’s commitment in conducting free and fair polls.
“The three states have terrain-related challenges, but the Commission is committed to ensuring free and fair, participative, accessible and ethical elections in these three states,” he said.
The CEC said that officials from the Commission recently visited the three states and met State 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,” he said.
He said there was no violence in the last 12 elections. The State officials were told there should be zero tolerance for any kind of violence during the elections.