The Election Commission of India on Thursday announced the dates for Assembly elections 2018 in three Northeast states - Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland.
The elections in Tripura will be held on February 18 while Meghalaya and Nagaland will go to polls on February 27, Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti said in a press conference.
The counting of votes will take place on March 3 and results of all the three states' Assembly polls will be announced on the same day.
The term of the Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura legislative assemblies is ending on March 6, March 13 and March 14 respectively.
Congress is in power in Meghalaya, while Tripura is a strong bastion of Left and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M) has been governing the state since 1993. Nagaland People's Front (NPF), a BJP ally is currently ruling the state of Nagaland.
In 2018, assembly elections will also be held in five more states - Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.
Here are the live updates of Election Commission press conference:
# Polling for legislative assembly elections in Tripura to be held on 18 Feb, polling in Meghalaya & Nagaland to be held on 27 Feb; Counting for all three states on 3 March: AK Joti, CEC
Polling for legislative assembly elections in Tripura to be held on 18 Feb, polling in Meghalaya & Nagaland to be held on 27 Feb; Counting for all three states on 3 March: AK Joti, CEC pic.twitter.com/SPlHhGTZtW— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2018
# Security will be tightened in all the three states ahead of polls: EC
# Counting of votes will take place on March 3, resutls will be declared on ame day: Election Commission
# Assembly elections in Tripura on Feb 18, Meghalaya and Nagaland polls on Feb 27: EC
# CCTV camera will be installed in sensitive booths.
# Model code of conduct comes into effect from today: CEC AK Joti in Delhi on Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura legislative assembly elections
Model code of conduct comes into effect from today: CEC AK Joti in Delhi on Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura legislative assembly elections pic.twitter.com/yoB8eTz5KD— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2018
# Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura all have 60 seats each. EVM and VVPAT will be used in all three states, first level checks have been completed : CEC AK Joti in Delhi
In Meghalaya, the elections would be crucial for the Grand Old party Congress which is facing a rebel crisis in the state after some of its MLAs joined BJP and its allies.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has already formed an eight-member coordination committee for Nagaland assembly elections.
He has also formed a group three-member group for assisting party affairs in-charge of Tripura.
The elections in the Northeast have already invited controversies and political slugfest between the BJP and the Opposition over the presence of NSA Doval in BJP’s meeting to discuss the poll strategy in the north-eastern states.
PM Modi once again banking on his tried and tested ‘development blitz’ started BJP’s mission northeast with rallies in Meghalaya and Mizoram in December last year.
However, the Opposition says Modi’s ‘development blitz’ are nothing more than ‘jumlas’ (election gimmicks), which never see the light of the day.