The assembly polls in Nagaland witnessed a similar turnout as Meghalaya recording nearly 75 per cent polling. This was, however, a major dip from 2013 assembly election when the state had recorded about 90 per cent voter turnout. The results on the 60-member assembly will be declared on saturday.
The assembly election is largely being seen as a battle between Chief Minister T R Zeliang of NPF, and his predecessor Neiphiu Rio, then of the NPF but now heading his own party — NDPP — in alliance with the BJP. While NPF has concentrated on a regional identity in this election, positioning itself as champions of Nagas and blaming Rio for instability in the state in his dalliances with the Centre, the NDPP-BJP alliance has tried to usurp the role of opposition, calling Zeliang “a weak leader”, with the slogan “Change is Coming”.
The election has also seen a debate on the influence of BJP in a Christian-majority state, with the Nagaland Baptist Church Council taking a stance against the party. Exit polls predicted for a showdown between the two parties, Exit polls predicted for a showdown between the two parties, with the BJP making significant gains in the state, and Congress being reduced in the 60-member assembly.
Meanwhile, just 24-hours after the polls, state Congress president Kewe Khape Therie said the party “will draw a blank” as its candidates were on an “abandoned ship.” Singling out C P Joshi, Therie said he should resign as he is responsible for the Congress’s failures in the Northeast. Speaking to The Indian Express, Therie alleged that Joshi even stopped Congress president Rahul Gandhi from visiting Nagaland.