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Large voter turn out in Nagaland

Anti-riot squad appeasing the voters at Purana Bazaar Government High School, Dimapur polling station on Thursday. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, APR 16 (NPN):
Published on 17 Apr. 2009 1:23 AM IST
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An estimated 80 -85 % polling was recorded for the lone Lok Sabha seat while the voter turn out for the four by-polls were estimated at 70-75 %, which was by and large peaceful. The votes will be counted on May 16. This was revealed during a press briefing by the State Chief Electoral officer CJ Ponraj. The CEO provided the provisional figures as Kiphire – 95 % , Mon- 94.5 %, Pughoboto – 93.66 %, Longleng – 86 %, Mokokchung - 88.9 % Kohima – 80%, Zunheboto – 77 % , Phek -75 % , Wokha and Peren – 70 % each and Dimapur and Tuensang -67 % each. For the four-by polls, he informed that Dimapur –III recorded the polling at – 65 %, Chizami – 75%, Tizit -86% and Tuensang -71 %. He said that the voting percentage might increase as the final figures were still awaited during the time of briefing. The CEO also disclosed that two EVMs were damaged one each in 17 Chizami A/C - 16 Thetsulumi P/S) and 54 Tuensang Sadar-II (8-Tuensang Village A P/S) for the by-poll. The EVM for Lok Sabha in Tuensang Sadar-II ( Tuensang Village P/S) was also damaged. Joining the briefing, the Returning Officer HK Khulu said that the polling was by and large peaceful and no major incident of mob violence or clashes reported through out the state. He also said that Central Para Military Forces, State Arm Police, Village Guards and Home Guards were deployed covering all the polling stations all over Nagaland for smooth conduct of the election process. Though the Lok Sabha witnessed a triangular contest, the main contest was between ruling NPF-led DAN candidate CM Chang and opposition Congress K. Asungba Sangtam. However, the whole polling exercise for the Lok Sabha was comparatively a low key affair in contrast to the last assembly polls in the state. In Kohima, most of the urban polling stations received a luke-warm response from the voters but there were complaints of proxy voting in some polling stations. Some polling stations in the town already wore a deserted look by noon while the polling agents were seen exchanging homilies till the end of the polling. Although there were polling agents from both the NPF and Congress, hardly anyone was seen in the polling booths representing the third candidate, Dr. Rilangthung Odyuo (AITC). State Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is registered as a voter of his native village Tuophema village under 11 Northern Angami -11 Assembly constituency, exercised his franchise through “Postal Ballot.” Congress LS candidate K. Asungba cast his vote in Mokokchung town while the NPF candidate CM Chang could not caste his postal ballot on “technical ground”. “Although I couldn’t cast my vote, I will win this election with a thumping majority people’s prayer and support,” Chang told this correspondent over phone from his Dimapur residence. Nagaland has 13, 17,729 electorate with 1,790 polling stations, out of which 1156 were identified as normal polling stations, 327 vulnerable polling stations and 307 critical polling stations. In the 2004 parliamentary poll, Nagaland recorded 90 per cent polling with Wangyuh Konyak (NPF) wresting the seat from Congress defeating K. Asungba Sangtum with a record margin of 4.52 lakh votes. Re-poll in 2 stations likely CEO Nagaland C.J. Ponraj informed that re-poll was expected to be announced in two polling stations, namely Tuensang Sadar-II polling station 8 and Thetsulumi polling station 16 under Chizami. Meanwhile, our Tuensang Correspondent adds that voting in Tuensang village ‘C’ Khel east wing polling station was called off to re-poll after the youths pelted stones at the polling station. The sources also said that the security force fired blank shots to avoid major clashes. No casualty or injury was reported in the incident.

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