New Delhi, Jan. 11: Elections in Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh will be held on February 26, chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh announced today.
The notification will be issued on January 31, and counting in all four states will begin on March 1.
The last date for filing nominations is February 7. Scrutiny is scheduled for the next day. The last date for withdrawing nominations is February 10.
The polling date has, however, been postponed to June in three of the 68 Assembly constituencies in Himachal. They are Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi Bharmaur. These areas remain snowbound in February and access is difficult.
Of the states going to polls next month, Himachal has the largest legislature with 68 members. Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland have 60-member Houses each.
Lyngdoh said the Election Commission held discussions with the Union home secretary and the chief secretaries of the four states before finalising the poll schedule. A team from the commission has been sent to Himachal to assess the situation. Commission members would visit the three northeastern states next week.
The Chief Election Commisioner said the panle has requested the Centre for more paramilitary forces.
Asked about Nagaland, the poll panel chief said NSCN(I-M) leaders Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu have publicly said their outfit would not interfere in the elections.
But Muivah has warned that elections under the current regime of chief minister S.C. Jamir cannot be free and fair.
Lyngdoh said the Election Commission has looked into complaints that voter identity cards had been issued to only Congress supporters and that many names were missing from the electoral rolls in Nagaland.
After reviewing the rolls, the commission has dismissed the charges as false except in four constituencies in Dimapur. Fresh enumeration has been ordered in these areas and the process will be completed by the end of this month.