The Election Commission of India announced dates for the Assembly elections to Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland legislatures on Thursday. The three northeast states are among eight in the country that go to polls in 2018. Tripura will vote on February 18, while Meghalaya and Nagaland go to polls on February 27. The counting of votes for all states will be conducted on March 3, and the results will be declared on the same day.
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines will be deployed in the three states along with EVMs for the first time for the polls, Chief Election Commission A K Joti said, while addressing a press conference in New Delhi. For the last 20 years, only EVMs have been used, he added. What is VVPAT? How does it work?
The Assembly terms of Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura end on March 6, March 13 and March 14, 2018 respectively. The strength of the three Houses is 60 members each.
The Meghalaya Assembly is currently led by the Congress, which won 29 seats in the previous election. The election in Meghalaya is significant for the Congress party, as it is one of the few states under its rule.
The Tripura Assembly is under the CPI(M) government. The BJP and Congress will look to consolidate their positions in the House, with currently just seven and two seats respectively.
The Naga People’s Front is at the helm of the 60-member Nagaland Assembly. The BJP won four seats while the JD(U) bagged one in the last election.
Apart from these three states, elections to the Karnataka, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan Assemblies will be held later this year as well.