Kohima, Feb 25 (IANS) The campaign for the February 27 Nagaland assembly election came to an end on Saturday. The voting would be held in 59 of the 60 assembly constituencies in 16 districts amid a thick security cover on Monday.
BJP candidate Kazheto Kinimi was re-elected unopposed from the Akuluto Assembly constituency after his only opponent and Congress nominee Khekashe Sumi withdrew his candidature on the last day of the withdrawal of nominations on February 10.
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Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) V. Shashank Shekhar said that the movement of polling parties to the 2,315 polling stations in 59 assembly constituencies started on Saturday.
According to the election officials, around 13 lakh voters including 6,55,144 women would decide the electoral fate of 183 candidates including four women nominees in Monday’s elections.
In the 2018 Assembly polls, 190 candidates, including five women, had contested the elections.
To ensure a free, fair and incident-free election, the Union Home Ministry, at the request of the state government, has provided 305 companies of Central Armed Police Force, while the state security forces have also been deployed across the mountainous state.
In all, 12 political parties comprising national and state parties are in the fray.
The ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) is contesting the election on 40 seats while its partner the BJP has fielded candidates on 20 seats.
The Congress has given tickets to 23 candidates, while the Naga People’s Front is contesting on 22 seats.
Other parties including the RJD, Ram Vilas Paswan faction of the LJP, National People’s Party headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, and the NCP are also in the fray.
There are 19 independent candidates in the fray as well.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally in Dimapur on Friday while Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda addressed many election rallies in different parts of the state.
Several Union Ministers, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and many BJP leaders and MPs from outside the state campaigned for the party.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, the party’s Lok Sabha member from Kerala, Shashi Tharoor and many other party leaders have campaigned for the party’s candidates.
Chief Minister and senior NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP legislature party leader Yanthungo Patton, former Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang, Nagaland unit BJP president Temjen Imna Along, Nagaland Congress president K. Therie and other state leaders also took part in the campaign.