Over 60 per cent turnout in polls

Election Commission on Wednesday said polling in four states was peaceful except for some incidents of violence in Nagaland.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2003 20:29 IST

An estimated 72 per cent polling was recorded in Tripura followed by 70 per cent in Nagaland, the Election Commission said here on Wednesday.

Meghalaya witnessed 68 per cent voter turnout while Himachal Pradesh recorded 63 per cent, it said.

The Commission said the polling in the four states was peaceful except for some stray incidents of violence in Nagaland.

Five electronic voting machines were destroyed by a mob in Lakuti village in Nagaland's Wokha district while in Zunheboto district, the polling parties of polling station 15 and 16 were ambushed by miscreants on their way back to camps from election duty, it said.

The contest turned out to be violent in many parts of Nagaland and the complaints as a result of this are being looked into by the central observers, the Election Commission said in a press release.

In insurgency-prone Tripura, all the polling parties are safe, the EC said.

On the bye-elections to seven assembly constituencies in six states, the Commission said Humnabad in Karnataka recorded the highest 68 per cent polling followed by Ratabari (Assam) 65 per cent, Bhokarden (Maharashtra) 62 per cent, Sattankulam (Tamil Nadu) and Gauriganj (UP) 55 per cent each, Haidergarh (UP) 54 per cent and Pampore (J and K) 40 per cent.

Though there are seven national and three regional political parties in fray, the main battle for the 60-member Assembly is confined between ruling Congress and newly formed Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) with Nagaland People's Front (NPF) and BJP being two of its major constituents.

Congress complained of poll irregularities by ruling CPI(M) activists in West Tripura district with AICC observer Wasim Ahmad shooting off a letter to the state election commission. As many as 225 candidates are in fray for the 60-member assembly in Tripura.

Electronic Voting Machines were used in all the four states for the first time for the Assembly polls. Counting of ballots will be taken up on March 1.

Among the prominent candidates whose electoral fates were decided include Chief Ministers Prem Kumar Dhumal (Himachal Pradesh), S C Jamir (Nagaland), Flinder Anderson Khonglam (Meghalaya), Manik Sarkar (Tripura), former Chief Ministers V B Singh, Sudhir Ranjan Majumdar and Samir Ranjan Burman.

First Published: Feb 26, 2003 20:20 IST