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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Elections in 3 N-E states in Feb-March

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 09, 2013
First Published: 20:32 IST(9/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:57 IST(10/1/2013)

After Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, another round of assembly elections are set to be announced in the north-eastern states of Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland. The elections are likely to take place in February end and March first week.

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According to sources, the Election Commission would be announcing single phase elections for the three states next week. The commission has visited the three states recently to review the security and poll preparedness there. The term of the states assemblies would be ending by mid-March 2013 before which elections are to be conducted.

The power in the three states having 60 members each legislative assembly is divided between the Congress in Meghalaya, Nagaland People's Front in Nagaland and CPIM in Tripura.

The Congress has already announced its all 60 candidate for Meghalaya elections while former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma led National People's Party (NPP) has announced to contest all the seats.

Sangma recently broke away from the Nationalist Congress Party of Sharad Pawar and joined the National Democratic Front after contesting Presidential elections against Pranab Mukherjee. The elections would test Sangma's popularity in his home turf, where his arch rival is chief minister Mukul Sangma.

In Tripura, the Left would try its best to save its last bastion in the country after being ousted in West Bengal and Kerala. The Left had a strong hold in the state neighbouring Myanmar but is pitted against emerging local party Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura and the Congress.

Nagaland could witness a close contest with Nagaland People's Front leader and chief minister Neiphiu Rio pitted against the Congress, which won 23 seats in last assembly elections in 2008.

Commission sources said adequate central para-military forces would be deployed in these states, especially in extremist hit Nagaland, to deal with any terror threat.


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