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Disputed area to relocate booths

Kohima, March 5: The Nagaland government has decided not to set up polling stations in disputed areas with Assam.

The state election department, however, said it would allow people to come and exercise their franchise at the nearest booths. The state government said it would also allow Naga residents in Assam, who have registered their names in electoral rolls in Nagaland, to cast their votes.

Several hundreds of Nagas have settled along the Nagaland-Assam border, especially in Karbi Anglong district.

The election officials preferred not to comment on the matter but said the Supreme Court had directed Nagaland and Assam to maintain status quo along the disturbed area belt. The officials did not elaborate on what ground people from Assam have been allowed to enrol in Nagaland.

The state’s chief electoral officer (CEO), Sentiyanger Ao, said the state government would maintain status quo along the belt and no polling station would be set up, but people living along the belt would be allowed to come and cast votes in the nearest polling stations.

The disputed areas include Ladigrah in Longleng district, a few places in Mokokchung and Wokha districts, Khuhuboto and Niuland subdivisions in Dimapur district.

Ao said on March 14, district administrations of Longleng and Sivasagar would meet to discuss the disputed Ladigarh polling station. Both Assam and Nagaland have been claiming Ladigarh.

The office of the CEO was in touch with his Assam counterpart on smooth conduct of polls along the belt.

Ao was optimistic that elections would be conducted in a free and fair manner and appealed to people to cooperate with the authorities. He said all efforts would be made to check proxy voting.

Nagaland will go to the polls on April 9. The notification will be issued on March 15. The last date of filing nominations is March 22 while the last date for withdrawal is March 24. Counting will be held on May 16.

There are 11,74,663 voters who will exercise their franchise at 2,059 polling stations.


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