The Northeastern states of Tripura shall go for polling on February 18 (Sunday) and polling in Meghalaya and Nagaland shall hold on February 27. However, Counting of votes in all three states shall be held on March 3 (Saturday), announced the Election Commissioner A K Joti while addressing a press conference on Thursday noon.
The commissioner said, “The Gazette notification shall be released on January 24.” Adding to this he said, “The last date of nomination papers shall be on January 31, Scrutiny of the nomination papers on February 1 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature will be on February 3.”
Elections to the three states are significant as they come at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is looking to expand its political footprint in the North East, the Congress is struggling to maintain what was once its electoral dominance in the region and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM is looking to beat anti-incumbency for the sixth consecutive term in Tripura.
However, Tripura is the only state other than Kerala where the CPM-led Left Front is in power.
The party is battling anti-incumbency in what is seen as the first multi-cornered contest in the state, which includes Congress and newer political players like the BJP and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC).