Kohima: Voting for the by-election to Northern Angami-II assembly constituency in Kohima district of Nagaland, which began at 7 AM amidst tight security today, was going on peacefully.
Polling is being held in 39 polling stations spread over 30 villages of the constituency.
Voters are trickling in to cast their votes with most of them from village areas, now residing in towns and they are expected to reach their respective villages only by afternoon. The by-election is a straight contest between NPF's Dr Neiphrezo Keditsu and BJP's Visasolie Lhoungu.
Both the candidates are first timers. While 37-year-old Neiphrezo Keditsu is a contractor-turned-politician, 60-year-old BJP candidate Visasolie Lhoungu is a retired bureaucrat.
Both NPF and BJP are allies in Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN), but pitted against each other in this bypoll.
Altogether 18,834 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise of which 8516 are women. Police said altogether seven companies of security personnel, including four Central Para Military Forces and three companies of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB-NAP) have been deployed for the bypoll.
The 39 polling stations have been categorised into hyper sensitive (critical) - 11, vulnerable (sensitive) - 9 and the rest as normal.
The bypoll has become a prestige issue for the ruling NPF as the seat had been continuously held for five terms by three-times Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio from 1989 till May 2014.
The bypoll was necessitated following Neiphiu Rio's win in the Lok Sabha election in May this year. Voting will end at 4 PM today and the counting of votes will be held on October 20.