Assembly election in Tripura will be held on February 18 while Meghalaya and Nagaland will go to polls on February 27, the election commission of India announced on Thursday. Results will be announced on March 3.

Special Correspondent

According to the website of the Election Commission of India, the five-year term of the assemblies in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura, with 60 seats each, would expire on March 6, March 13, and March 14, respectively.

The Left Front rules in Tripura, Congress holds power in Meghalaya, while the Naga People’s Front-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland rules in Nagaland. The Democratic Alliance is supported by BJP.

Addressing a press conference here, chief election commissioner AK Joti, whose term ends on Monday, said the elections in Tripura Nagaland, Meghalaya states will be conducted by using electronic voting machines along with voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) .

The EVM votes will be matched with the results of the VVPAT machines in one polling booth in each of the 60 constituencies in each of the three states.

Elections in these three states will be the first after the Union finance ministry notified the terms of the electoral bonds for political funding. Asked about it, Joti said it was a step in the right direction.

Both in Nagaland and Meghalaya, the BJP is resting heavily on the groundwork of the RSS cadre, who have been wooing various tribes.

In Meghalaya, the NCP has also decided to contest at least 42 of the 60 seats. Senior party leader Praful Patel recently announced the party’s decision to contest 22 of the 24 seats in the Garo Hills region and at least 20 seats in the Khasi Hills.

The CEC also said that the decision to announce the dates of by-elections for Lok Sabha seats in Gorakhpur and Phulpur in UP, Araria in Bihar, and Anantnag in Jammu &Kashmir would be taken after fresh electoral rolls are declared next month.

Joti said the Lok Sabha poll in UP cannot be announced as the electoral rolls for the poll-bound seats with January 1, 2018 as the reference date will be published only on February 9 and all bypolls have to held on the basis of the new electoral rolls.

He also declined to comment on the status of the office-of-profit case against 20 AAP MLAs in Delhi assembly. On being asked whether the Commission’s decision has been communicated to the President, the CEC said he would not like to “comment on a sub-judice matter”.