Shillong/Kohima, Feb 23: Meghalaya recorded 88 per cent polling and Nagaland 83.27 per cent in the assembly elections held today, which passed off peacefully barring a few minor incidents in Nagaland.
The counting would be held on February 28. Meghalaya recorded a high turnout defying a bandh call by militants in some districts and came close to its last time turnout of 89.04 per cent.
Nagaland had recorded 86.19 per cent voting in the last assembly polls.
In the bye-elections to six assembly constituencies which were also peaceful, Chalfilh in Mizoram recorded 78 per cent voting, Bhatpar in Uttar Pradesh 50 per cent and Moga in Punjab recorded 70.33 per cent polling, Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla told reporters here.
In the bypolls to three assembly constituencies in West Bengal, Nalhati Birbhum recorded 65 per cent polling, English Bazar in Malda district 75 per cent and Rejinagar in Murshidabad district recorded 72 per cent polling.
Defying a bandh called by militants in seven districts, 88 per cent of the 15.03 lakh electorate cast their votes to elect 60 members from among 345 candidates in the election to the ninth Meghalaya Assembly today.
State's Chief Election Officer P Naik said voting was more intense in the Khasi Jaintia Hills region despite a 36-hour bandh called from 6:00 pm yesterday by the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council in seven districts.
Brisk polling was recorded in Nagaland for 59 seats of the state assembly amidst unprecendented security. Polling has been adjourned in Tuensang sadar seat following the sudden death of Congress candidate P Chuba Chang yesterday.
Enthusiasm was noticed among the electorate following calls by Nagaland Baptist Church Council and Election Commission for ‘one person one vote'.
The sources said polling was peaceful across the state barring some skirmishes between party workers and candidates' supporters.
EC's Director General P K Dash said a total of Rs 3.36 crore cash seizures were made in Nagaland during the poll process and Rs 77 lakh in Meghalaya, where 2.43 lakh litres of liquor and 13 kilos of Cannabis were also seized.
In Nagaland, a total of 27,877 litres of liquor and 130 kilos of Ganja was seized, besides 77,950 tablets of drugs.
Election to the Tuensang sadar seat in Nagaland was countermanded following the death yesterday of Congress candidate P Chuba Chang. The election to the seat will now be held on March 23 and counting on for it on March 26.
Prominent candidates whose fates were sealed in EVMs were Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie, Opposition Leader Tokheho Yepthomi, Congress president SI Jamir and former Home Minister Imkong L Imchen from Koridang.
State's Chief Electoral Officer J Alam said voting percentage could rise as there were still people in queue, particularly in Mokokchung and Wokha districts.
He said that repoll would be held in three polling stations - Hoshepu in Zunheboto district, polling station number 17 in Chizami Zavame village in Phek district and Ghaspani-II in Dimapur district. The date of repolling would be announced by tomorrow, he said.
At Hoshepu, armed miscreants prevented polling from being held. At Zavame, EVMs and the electoral roll were damaged and at Ghaspani-II voting could not be held because of a clash between supporters of two candidates, he said.
Asked about Assam police allegedly preventing polling at Ladigarh in Tamlu constituency in Longleng district, Alam said that he accepted that there were problems, but the final report from the district administration and returning officer were awaited.
In Meghalaya, Chief Electoral Officer P Naik said polling was peaceful in the state except for a few stray incidents.
The fate of at least four former Chief Ministers, three from Congress, including the outgoing CM Mukul Sangma, party chief D D Lapang and S C Marak were sealed in today's polling.
Defying the 36-hour bandh called by the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), people in large numbers were seen queuing up even beyond the stipulated time of 4 PM in several polling stations in Garo hills.
Stray incidents were reported in West Jaintia Hills district in which a woman candidate of the BJP has sought repoll in at least four polling stations under Wahjajer constituency.
Police have rounded up eight persons and arrested a BJP supporter for allegedly trying to damage a voting machine at a polling booth.
The candidate, V N Lamare, however, alleged that polling agents from the Congress chased her agents, besides threatening to assault them and demanded repoll from the Election Commission.
The ruling Congress is the only party contesting all the 60 seats followed by the UDP in 50 seats. The P A Sangma led National Peoples' Party, in the opposition, is contesting 32 seats.