Nagaland bypolls: Elaborate security arrangements in place for vote counting

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Kohima, Nov 9 (PTI) Elaborate arrangements have been made and security tightened at two centres for Tuesday's counting of votes for the by-elections to two assembly constituencies in Nagaland, an Election Commission official said.

All health safety norms will be followed during the counting process as it will be taking place in the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Nagaland's Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha said.

The bypolls to two assembly seats - Southern Angami-I in Kohima and Pungro-Kiphire in Kiphire district - were necessitated following the deaths of the sitting legislators Vikho-o Yhoshu and T Torechu.

'Counting will be held in the respective district election officer cum deputy commissioner's office complex.

Both the centres will be disinfected before the start of counting and health screening of staffers involved in the process will be ensured,' he said.

Counting will begin at 8 am in one room for the 22 polling stations of Southern Angami-I seat and two halls for the 77 polling booths of Pungro-Kiphire assembly segment, he said.

A three-tier security arrangement has been put in place at the two centres, he said 'Central Armed Police Forces personnel, Indian Reserve Battalion staffers and state policemen have been deployed to thwart any untoward incident,' Sinha said.

Around 89.34 per cent of 13,641 eligible electors exercised their franchise on November 3 in the by-elections to two assembly seats.

Ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) nominee Medo Yhokha, opposition NPF's Kikovi Kirha and Independent candidate Seyievilie Peter Zashumo are in the race for the Southern Angami-1 seat.

Five nominees, including Khaseo Anar of the Congress, BJP's Lirimong Sangtam and Independent candidates K Shellumthong, T Yangseo Sangtam and Kiusumew Yimchunger, are in the fray for the Pungro-Kiphire seat. PTI NBS BDC BDC