Elections to the 60-member Houses in Meghalaya and Nagaland began at 7 a.m. on February 27.
A total of 34.79 lakh voters would be electing 369 candidates vying for 59 seats in Meghalaya and 183 candidates fighting it out for 59 seats in Nagaland. In Meghalaya, the National People’s Party is the seeking to retain power on its own or with its allies in the current government although all the constituents, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, are contesting against each other.
Challenging its bid are the Trinamool Congress, contesting the Assembly elections for the first time, and Congress, which is eyeing a revival of fortunes after losing all its 21 MLAs to other parties.
The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party and BJP combine hopes to retain power in Nagaland. The two parties approached the elections with a 40:20 seat-sharing arrangement in a State virtually without any opposition.
Congress and the Naga People’s Front, which was the single-largest party in 2018 with 26 seats, struggled to find candidates. A new entrant that could throw some surprises is the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas).- Rahul Karmakar