Kohima, Feb 22: Nagaland goes to the polls on Saturday to elect 60 members to the 12th Assembly from among 188 candidates with an 11.93 lakh electorate.
Prominent candidates whose fate will be decided are Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio from Northern Angami II, Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie from Western Angami, Opposition Leader Tokheho Yepthomi from Dimapur III, Congress president SI Jamir from Dimapur II and former Home Minister Imkong L Imchen from Koridang.
There are 39 independents and two women among the contestants. Of the two women nominees, Rakhila has been fielded by the BJP from Tuensang Sadar-II and Dr Yangerla, an Independent is contesting from Mokokchung Town.
The ruling Naga People's Front is the only party contesting all the 60 seats. The opposition Congress is contesting 57 seats, followed by NCP in 15, BJP in 11, JD-U in three, RJD in two and the United Nagaland Democratic Party in one.
Of the 2023 polling stations, 821 have been identified as sensitive and 662 as hyper sensitive.
The NPF received a jolt ahead of the election when Home Minister Imkong L Imchen was arrested on February 18 for allegedly carrying over Rs one crore in cash, arms and ammunition and liquor in his vehicle.
In the outgoing 11th Nagaland Assembly, the ruling NPF had 35 members and the support of six Independents, while Congress had 18 members backed by an Independent.
Altogether 255 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state for the elections. Counting will be held on February 28.