Phase 1 Lok Sabha Election: Northeast Is Witnessing High Voter Turnout

Voters lined up in various polling stations in Northeast for the 17th Lok Sabha elections
Voters lined up in various polling stations in Northeast for the 17th Lok Sabha elections

Guwahati, April 11, 2019

The mammoth battle of votes for the first phase of the seven phases of Lok Sabha elections in the eight Northeastern states is underway. The Assembly elections are also being held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

Polls are underway in two constituencies each in Arunachal Pradesh (Arunachal Pradesh West and Arunachal Pradesh East) and Meghalaya ( Shillong and Tura) and one each Manipur (Outer Manipur), Mizoram (Mizoram), Nagaland (Nagaland), Tripura (Tripura West), Sikkim (Sikkim).

Northeast is witnessing high voter turnout. Nagaland parliamentary constituency reported 21 per cent voter turnout till 9 am, while Meghalaya recorded 18 per cent polling.

Arunachal Pradesh

Assembly and parliamentary elections in Arunachal Pradesh is underway where 7.98 lakh voters will decide the fate of 181 candidates for the 60-member Assembly and 15 candidates for two Lok Sabha seats in the State.

More than 15,000 security personnel have been deployed to ensure free and fair elections in polling stations across the state, said Additional Chief Electoral Officer Kanki Darang. Voting started from 7 am on April 11th, 2019 and it will continue till 5 pm.

Among the 7.98 lakh voters, 3,94,456 are men and 4,03,792 are women and they will decide the fate of 181 candidates who are in the fray. A total of 15 candidates, including seven for Arunachal West and five for Arunachal East seat, are contesting the Lok Sabha polls.

Baring the cold, electorates queuing to cast their votes Photo Source: CEO Arunachal Pradesh
Baring the cold, electorates queuing to cast their votes Photo Source: CEO Arunachal Pradesh

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju faces a tough battle on his home turf – the Arunachal West constituency. He will go against the Congress’s candidate Nabam Tuki, a former chief minister, and the National People’s Party’s Khyoda Apik.

It may be mentioned, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already won three Assembly seats uncontested and the counting of votes will take place on May 23rd, 2019.

An old woman making her way to exercise her franchise Photo Source: CEO Arunachal Pradesh
An old woman making her way to exercise her franchise Photo Source: CEO Arunachal Pradesh

Tripura

In Tripura, of the two Lok Sabha seats, the Lok Sabha West Tripura seat which has been held by the CPI(M) since 1993 is seeing elections on April 11th, 2019. A total of 13,47,381 voters will cast their votes to decide the fate of 13 candidates.

Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha East Tripura seat will go to polls on April 18th, 2019.  The competition is high among three parties namely, BJP, Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Tarinikanta on April 10th, 2019 briefing media persons informed that foolproof security has been initiated for smooth conduct of polling in all the polling booths of West Tripura constituency. “In sensitive areas, CRPF personnel will conduct patrolling. Videographers will also be engaged in sensitive areas,” he said.

Also, keeping in mind the erratic weather conditions of the state, the Election Commission (EC) has taken up measures in case of storms and thundershowers.

Manipur

In the state of Manipur, of the two-phase elections, Outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency is the first constituency to go to polls on April 11th, 2019. Polling started from 7 am and it will continue till 4 pm.

Inner Manipur constituency will go to polls in the second phase on April 18th, 2019 and a total of 12 candidates are in the fray.

A total of 10,10,618 voters, including 4,95,583 men and 5,15,022 women, will exercise their franchise at 1,562 polling stations. A total of 8 candidates are in the fray for the seat and candidates belong to major parties like BJP, National People’s Party (NPP), Naga People’s Front (NPF), Janata Dal (United) JD(U) and many more.

Miss Manipur 2017 asking people people to come out and vote and to contribute in nation building
Miss Manipur 2017 asking people to come out and vote and to contribute to nation building

Joint Chief Electoral Officer N Ramananda has informed that polling personnel for 344 polling stations located at remote places had been sent from April 8th, 2019 onwards.

Interestingly, a poll station in Churachandpur district is being manned entirely by women polling personnel, while another by persons with disabilities in Imphal East district.

Meghalaya

The two Lok Sabha parliamentary seats in the state – Shillong and Tura are going to polls on April 11th, 2019. A total of 19 lakh voters are exercising their franchise to elect the two MPs of the state.

Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma all set to cast his vote
Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma all set to cast his vote

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) FR Kharkongor said that 12,668 polling personnel have been deployed in 3,167 polling stations under the two constituencies. As many as 2,053 polling stations have been set up for the Shillong constituency and 1,114 for Tura.

Early voters lined up to cast their votes at Nongumlong Photo Source: CEO Meghalaya
Early voters lined up to cast their votes at Nongumlong Photo Source: CEO Meghalaya

A total of 9 candidates are in the fray for two Lok Sabha seats and the key contenders of Shillong are sitting Congress MP Vincent H Pala, Jemino Mawthoh of the UDP and Sanbor Shullai of the BJP.

Sitting Congress MP Vincent H Pala along with his mother after casting his vote Photo Source: CEO Meghalaya
Sitting Congress MP Vincent H Pala along with his mother after casting his vote Photo Source: CEO Meghalaya

For the Tura seat, Agatha Sangma of the NPP, Mukul Sangma of the Congress and Rikamn G Momin of the BJP are in battle.

Voter turnout in Meghalaya stands at 20.41% and the polling percentage in the two Lok Sabha seats of Meghalaya stood at 20.41%.

Sikkim

The fate of the lone Lok Sabha seat and a new 32-member Legislative Assembly will be decided on April 11th, 2019 and as many as 4 lakh voters are casting their votes in polling stations in Sikkim.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ravindra Telang informed the media that there are 567 polling stations spread over four districts in Sikkim and a total of 150 candidates are in the fray for the 32 Assembly seats, while 11 candidates are contesting for the lone Lok Sabha seat.

Pink Polling Booths have been set up in the West District. Facilities for Persons with Disabilities (PwD Voters), water facility, selfie booths have been arranged. "I VOTED" stickers will be distributed to PwD Voters and all women voters Photo source: Election Department, Sikkim
Pink Polling Booths have been set up in the West District. Facilities for Persons with Disabilities (PwD Voters), water facility, selfie booths have been arranged. “I VOTED” stickers will be distributed to PwD Voters and all women voters Photo source: Election Department, Sikkim

Prominent candidates in Sikkim include Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia. Chamling is seeking for an 8th successive term as an MLA from Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi-Singhithang Assembly seats and Bhaichung entered active politics with his party Hamro Sikkim party (HSP) and he is contesting from  Gangtok and Tumen Lingi seats.

An old woman arrived in her wheelchair to exercise her franchise Photo Source: CEO Sikkim
An old woman arrived in her wheelchair to exercise her franchise Photo Source: CEO Sikkim

As many as 3,600 polling personnel and 4,000 security men, including 10 companies of SSB, have been deployed for election duty in Sikkim. A total of 4,32,306 voters comprising 2,20,305 men and 2,12,001 women will exercise their franchise.

Mizoram

Along with the rest of the states in Northeast, Mizoram is also witnessing Lok Sabha elections and by-elections. Mizoram is the lone Lok Sabha parliamentary seat in the state and Aizawl West-I is the Assembly seat.

Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer Ashish Kundra has said that a total of 4,812 polling personnel, including 1,190 presiding officers are deployed in 1,175 polling stations across the state. 117 will be women-only booths, officiated by female security personnel and officials.

An old woman casting her vote in Mizoram Photo Source: CEO Mizoram
An old woman casting her vote in Mizoram Photo Source: CEO Mizoram

The CEO also said 4,409 security personnel, including 12 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), are deployed for the election to the lone Lok Sabha seat in the State.

A total of 6 candidates are in the fray for the lone Lok Sabha seat and the key parties are Mizoram National Front (MNF), BJP, People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) and many more.

Women voters again outnumber men in Mizoram. Of the total 7.84 lakh voters, 4.02 lakh are women and 3.81 lakh men. There are 52,556 first-time voters and a total of six third-gender voters in the State.

Notably, Bru voters lodged in relief camps in Tripura will also exercise their franchise for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram and there will be 15 special polling stations at the Mizoram-Tripura border village of Kanhmun, where 12,081 Bru electors will cast their votes.

Polling percentage in Mizoram is 17.4 % while the voter turnout in Mizoram stood at 17.4 %.

Nagaland

In the state, a total of 75 companies of security forces along with over a 1000 village guards have been deployed in all polling stations across Nagaland for elections for its lone Lok Sabha seat Nagaland and byelection to the Aonglenden Assembly seat.

Senior citizens ready to vote in Chizami Phek, Nagaland Photo Source: CEO, Nagaland
Senior citizens ready to vote in Chizami Phek, Nagaland Photo Source: CEO, Nagaland

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Abhijit Sinha informed the media that 12,13,777 electorates, including over 16,000 first time voters have been exercising their franchise in polling stations across the state.

As per the latest inputs, 21 per cent voter turnout was registered till 9 am in Nagaland, as voting began for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019.

The key contenders for the parliamentary seat are Congress nominee K L Chishi, NDPP candidate Tokheho Yepthomi, NPPs Hayithung Tungoe and Independent Dr M M Thromwa Konyak.

Polling going on smoothly in various polling stations in the Tuensang district Nagaland Photo Source: CEO, Nagaland
Polling going on smoothly in various polling stations in the Tuensang district Nagaland Photo Source: CEO, Nagaland

On the other hand, Alemjongshi Longkumer of the Congress and Sharingain Longkumer of ruling NDPP. are the two contestants for the Aonglenden seat. The Assembly seat has a total of 12,436 electorates including 6,146 male and 6,290 female voters.

Differently Abled Voters being assisted in Tobu Village - 55 Tobu AC Photo Source: CEO, Nagaland
Differently Abled Voters being assisted in Tobu Village – 55 Tobu AC Photo Source: CEO, Nagaland