While Tripura went to the polls on February 18, elections were held in Nagaland and Meghalaya on February 27. However, a third exit poll predicts a close contest between the CPM and the BJP in the 60-member assembly.
Polling to Charilam (st) seat in Tripura was postponed till the 12th of next month due to the death of a candidate.
The voter-turnout in Tripura was 92 per cent, setting a new record in the electoral history of India. "It will do well across Meghalaya", NPP chief Conrad Sangma told Express. The BJP is contesting the polls in alliance with the newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the two are contesting 20 and 40 seats respectively.
In Tripura, which went to polls on February 18, the BJP has emerged as a strong contender in all the three states and two exit polls have predicted that the party would dethrone the 25-year-old Left Front government in Tripura and consolidate its position in the other two states.
Counting would begin from 8 AM in all the states amid tight security, Election Commission officials said.
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The ruling CPI-M has fielded 56 candidates, leaving one seat each to its Left Front partners - the Communist Party of India, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party.
Four prominent parties are fighting the poll battle in Nagaland - Nagaland People's Front (NPF), Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC). Now led by former Cabinet minister AL Hek, even if it gets a handful of seats it can use its power at the Centre and presence in neighbouring states, Assam and most recently in Manipur, to prevent the Congress or any other non-BJP alternative to form a government.
There was a heavy rush of nominees to file their nomination papers on the last day, February 7, and finally after scrutiny and withdrawal, 227 candidates were in the fray for the Assembly elections in the state. The other prominent candidates are Biplab Deb (BJP) and Birajit Sinha (Congress).
CVoter figures suggest that NPP might win 17-23 seats, while BJP is projected to win 4-8 seats. As per the JaanKiBaat-NewX exit polls, the BJP-IPFT combine will win 35-45 seats, while the incumbent left font led by the CPI (M) will get 14-23.
It predicted that the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) will bag 19-25 seats with a vote share of 27.1 per cent. NPF had won 38 seats and 47.65 vote share in 2013 elections.
The BJP had given a call for Chalo Paltai ( let's change) at the hustings in an all-out bid to wrest the state from Manik Sarkar whose charisma as a simple and humble chief minister helped the Left return to power in successive elections.
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