Battleground Northeast: Counting of votes in 3 states tomorrow

Will Tripura be soaked in saffron colour after poll results

With the poll results three days away, a web media organisation, Tripurainfo, has published an exit poll prediction, giving the CPM-led Left Front a minimum of 40 seats and maximum 49 seats in the 60-member Assembly.

The exit polls in the north-east states have revealed that it is going to be an interesting fight in Nagaland.

Balloting in the Charilam (reserved for the tribals) has been deferred to March 12 after the death of a CPI-M candidate.

Voting took place in 59 of the 60 seats after the election to the Williamnagar seat was countermanded following the killing of NCP candidate Jonathone Sangma allegedly by Garo National Liberation Army militants.

The voter-turnout in Meghalaya was 75 per cent.

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Meghalaya had used VVPATs for the first time during this elections. Besides declaring pre-poll alliance with the NPF, both the NPP and the JD (U) in Nagaland have expressly declared in the agreements that T R Zeliang shall be the chief minister of the state should the NPF form the next government with its allies.

The alliance between the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the BJP is projected to get 38.4 per cent of all votes and 25 to 31 Assembly seats.

In the past, when individual polling agencies have got exit polls for state elections wrong, they have in general done a better job of predicting vote shares.

They, however, have indicated a hung assembly in Congress-ruled Meghalaya, which often gives a fractured mandate in elections.

The JaanKiBaat-News X exit Poll gives 23-27 seats for the NPP, 13-17 seats for the Congress while the BJP and others are predicted to win 8-12 and 2-6 seats respectively.

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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).

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.

In Meghalaya, the Congress fielded 59 candidates, while the BJP put up nominees in 47 constituencies. The other prominent candidates are Biplab Deb (BJP) and Birajit Sinha (Congress).

Add that to the vote and seat share projections for the BJP - 16.6 per cent, and 4-8 seats, respectively and the Meghalaya Congress has good reason to be anxious.

C-Voter predicts that the Congress win 0-2 seats, while the other exit polls predict that the party will not be winning any seats in the state.

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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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