Nagaland election 2023: State prepared for free and fair election, says CEO Shashank Shekhar
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Nagaland, V Shashank Shekhar, on Thursday said that the state is fully prepared for a free and fair election scheduled to be held next month.
The Election Commission on Wednesday fixed February 27 for elections to the Nagaland and Meghalaya legislative assemblies, while Tripura will go to the poll on February 16. The counting of votes for all the three states is scheduled for March 2.
Addressing a press conference in Kohima, the CEO said the entire state machineries have been mobilised and the team has been working on the poll preparedness and reviewing the situation for the last several weeks.
He expressed hope of conducting free and fair elections in the true spirit of democracy without violence and good participation of all stakeholders, voters, and citizens.
Necessary checking of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) has been done; EVMs stored in strong rooms across the districts and training of personnel assigned for election duties completed, he said.
To prevent public nuisance, the ECI had directed that used of any public address system, sound amplifier or loud speakers during the election period will be not be permitted at night between 10 pm and 6 am, starting from the date of poll announcement till the declaration of results.
75 companies of CAPF arrived
The CEO informed that 75 advanced companies out of 305 approved Central Police Armed Forces (CAPF) for the upcoming general election had already arrived in the state, while remaining companies will be come closer to the polling time.
Depending on the situation, the total number of companies has been increased from 281 in 2018 poll, he added.
924 critical PS
The upcoming general election will be conducted in 2,315 polling stations — 351 urban and 1734 rural — out of which 10 will be managed by PwDs and 196 by women, he informed. The number of polling stations in 2018 poll was 2194.
Out of the total polling stations, 680 have been identified as vulnerable and 924 critical as of now but this is dynamic and keeps changing, he said.
The polling station (PS) with lowest number of electors is 40 Bhandari AC, PS 71-Merapani with 37 electors, while PS with highest number of electors is 32 Atoizu AC, PS 12- Usutomi with 1348 electors. The Assembly Constituency (A/C) with lowest number of electors is 27 Mokokchung Town AC with 8302 electors and A/C with highest number electors is 4 Ghaspani-I AC with a total of 74,395 electorates.
As per the latest electoral rolls, there are 13,17,634 (around 13.17 lakh) electors in Nagaland, including 13,09,651 (around 13.09 lakh) general electors and 7,983 service voters. There are 6,970 Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) electors and 36,403 senior citizens (80+), while there are no third gender voters in the state, said Shekhar.
As for the internet connectivity issue for webcasting in remote areas, he said that the office will work out and find a solution.
On vehicle requisition
‘The CEO office has compiled requisition of vehicles from each of the districts. For those districts having shortfall, we will try to meet through districts having surplus vehicles. If at all, there is a shortfall after the adjustments, requisition will be made from Assam, for which the EC is also aware of the condition,’ said Shekhar.
The model code of conduct (MCC) has come into force in Nagaland following the announcement of polling date on Wednesday.
Nagaland has 60 Assembly seats and the term of the present legislative Assembly will end on March 12.