Fractured mandate in Nagaland, non-Congress parties have edge

March 8th, 2008 - 10:58 pm ICT by admin  

(Intro Roundup)

Kohima, March 8 (IANS) Nagaland is heading for a hung assembly with the Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) having a slight edge over the Congress to form the next government, according to election results and trends declared by late Saturday. The counting of votes took place Saturday for 57 out of 60 seats. Counting in three constituencies will take place Sunday as there was re-polling in some booths Saturday.

Of the 57 results declared so far, the NPF won 25 seats, while the Congress party bagged 22. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won two seats each and independents won six.

In the last assembly, the NPF partnered with the BJP, smaller parties and independents to form the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government. This time there was no pre-poll alliance between the NPF and the BJP.

The notable winners include former chief minister Neiphiu Rio.

“It would be a coalition government once again and we are almost sure to form the next government with the support of the BJP and independents. Even the NCP might support us,” a senior NPF leader said, requesting not to be named.

“The remaining three seats where counting would begin Sunday are NPF strongholds,” he claimed.

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