New Delhi: All eyes are set on the exit polls for three key north-east states that will be released later in the evening on Tuesday.
Polling for both Nagaland and Meghalaya began at 7am and will conclude at 4pm. Polling for Tripura elections was held earlier in February.
Counting for all three states—Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland—will happen on 3 March. The terms of the assemblies in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura end on 6, 13 and 14 March, respectively. All the three states have 60 assembly constituencies each.
According to a notification by the Election Commission, “publishing or publicizing by means of the print or electronic media or dissemination in any other manner, whatsoever, the result of any exit poll in connection with the current General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Meghalaya, Nagaland & Tripura” prior to 4.30pm on Tuesday is not allowed.
The three north-eastern states are crucial for both national as well as regional players. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is looking to expand its political footprint in the north-east after forming governments in three states in the region—Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur— since 2014. The Congress party is banking heavily on Meghalaya elections to retain its fast losing electoral dominance in the region.
For Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, the outcome of Tripura elections is significant because that’s the only state other than Kerala where the CPM-led Left Front is in power currently. For regional parties too, stakes are high, particularly in Meghalaya and Nagaland where they play a key role.
In Meghalaya, while Congress has fielded 59 candidates, BJP has candidates in 47 constituencies.livemint