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28.37 pc voters cast votes in lone Nagaland LS seat, voters boycott polling in 6 districts

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Kohima, April 19: Around 28.37 per cent of voters cast their votes till 11 a.m. in the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland amidst a tight security cover, officials said.

Election officials said that so far no voter cast their votes in six Eastern Nagaland districts in view of various Naga groups’ call to the people to “abstain” from Friday’s voting in support of their statehood demand.

There are around four lakh eligible voters in the six Eastern Nagaland districts.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio after casting his vote at a school in Kohima said that the state government has proposed the constitution of an autonomous body for the development of the Eastern Nagaland and people residing in the area.

“The Election Commission has served a show cause notice to the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) for calling the people to abstain from voting,” the Chief Minister told the media.Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer R. Vyasan in his show cause notice to the ENPO indicated to take appropriate action under the Indian Penal Code.

Voting for the lone Nagaland Lok Sabha seat began on Friday morning amidst heavy security measures, election officials said.

Voters, comprising men, women and first-time electorates, queued up in front of most polling stations before the voting started across the state at 7 a.m.

The voting in 2,342 polling stations, manned by over 11,000 polling staff, would continue till 4 p.m. without any interruption.

Election officials said that over 13.25 lakh voters, including 6.64 lakh women, would decide the electoral fate of three candidates – opposition Congress nominee S Supongmeren Jamir, ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) candidate Chumben Murry and Independent Hayithung Tungoe Lotha.

The ENPO in support of their separate state demand has urged the people to abstain from voting in the six Eastern Nagaland districts – Mon, Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire, Shamator and Noklak.

A Naga group called an indefinite shutdown in the entire Eastern Nagaland from Thursday evening while the ENPO has urged the 20 legislators from Eastern Nagaland to remain “indoors” on Friday to “prevent any untoward incidents.”

Of Nagaland’s 16 districts, seven backward tribes — Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Phom, Tikhir, Sangtam, and Yimkhiung — live in the six eastern districts.

Nagaland Government, Chief Minister Rio, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP Legislature Party leader Yanthungo Patton, BJP, which is a partner of the United Democratic Alliance government in the state, and the Eastern Nagaland Legislators’ Union (ENLU) had earlier separately urged the ENPO to participate in the voting.

However, the Election Commission on Thursday sent polling parties for the 738 polling stations in the six districts. IANS

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