Four northastern states witnessed brisk polling in the Lok Sabha election on Wednesday with Nagaland recording 84.43% voter turnout and Manipur as well as Arunachal Pradesh seeing around 70% balloting. Meghalaya saw almost two-thirds of its voters turn up.
Continuing the trend of heavy polling, the six parliamentary constituencies that went to poll in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland look all poised to break previous records of polling percentages.
Briefing the media in Delhi, Election Commission said the polling is expected to cross 78% in Manipur, 66% in Meghalaya and 91% in Nagaland.
In 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the four states had recorded 77%, 64% and 90% polling respectively.
In Arunachal Pradesh, where elections were held simultaneously for 60 assembly seats along with 2 parliamentary constituencies, the poling had crossed 71% by 5 pm and was expected to touch 75%. In 2009, the state had polled 68%.
Long queues have been reported at many hamlets well past the closing time, said Alok Shukla, deputy commissioner.
Polling could not be held in 7 polling stations in Arunachal Pradesh because of inclement weather or local tensions.
In Arunachal Pradesh, declared as expenditure-sensitive state, the Election Commission seized Rs4.34 crore in cash and 69,503 litres of liquor with the help of 17 expenditure observers.
Security forces were deployed in heavy numbers in insurgency-prone districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in eastern Arunachal for smooth conduct of the polls.
Voting could not take place in Lodaigarh polling station in Nagaland that has 302 electors. EC said the Assam police stopped polling parties from going there. "We are taking up the matter with the Assam government," an EC official said.
The voting in the four states marked the second phase of the country's 10-phase poll that will see 814 million Indians exercise their franchise to elect 543 members to the Lok Sabha.
Latest voting percentage
Nagaland – 84.43%
Arunachal – 71%
Meghalaya – 66%
Manipur – over 70%, no specific figure