Kohima, Mar 1: The results for the Nagaland Assembly Elections 2018 will be declared on March 3, Saturday. Counting of votes will begin at 8 am on Saturday morning and the results are expected to be out by afternoon. All eyes are on whether the newly formed National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), along with its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will be able to emerge victorious against the Naga People’s Front (NPF), which has been in power in the state since 2003. (75 per cent polling recorded in Nagaland) Also Read - Ahead of Submarine Cable Project Launch in Andamans, PM Modi Says it Will Transform The Islands

The NPF has been in power in Nagaland has been in power for 15 years. Neiphiu Rio, who was the Chief Minister from 2003 to 2014, is now the chief ministerial candidate of the NDPP-BJP alliance. Rio has been elected unopposed on the Northern Angami-II seat after the only candidate contesting against him withdrew nomination. The NDPP and BJP have settled on a 40-20 seat sharing agreement. Also Read - J&K: BJP Leader Out on Morning Walk Shot at by Unidentified Militants in Budgam; Third Attack in a Week

The ruling NPF, on the other hand, is looking at a post poll alliance with the Congress. However, if the exit polls are to be believed, this alliance may not be of any help to the ruling party. The exit polls have predicted that the BJP-NDPP alliance is likely to win against the ruling NPF, winning somewhere around 27-32 seats against the ruling party’s 20-25 seats. The Congress is likely to get 0-2 seats. Also Read - Coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh: 2 Top BJP Leaders, Including ex-CM Dhumal, in Home Quarantine

Nagaland has been on the edge for years together. The polling on February 27 was also marred by violence in which one person died. Tribal bodies and civil society groups had demanded that the polls be deferred over the demands for a separate Nagalim state. The Centre began the Naga peace talks, making it one of the poll drivers for the BJP’s campaign in the state.

The state of Nagaland has seen three chief ministers in the past five years and the government has been seen to be in-limbo in the past term. The NPF is also facing anti-incumbency after 15 years of being in power.

With 11 political parties having boycotted the Nagaland elections this year over the Naga tribals’ demands, the contest had four major parties. The NPF fielded 58 candidates, Congress 18, BJP 20, NDPP 39, NPP 25, NCP 6, JD(U) 13, AAP 3, LJP 2 for the polls, while 11 were Independent candidates.

Voting was held on February 27 for the Nagaland Assembly Polls. A voter turnout of over 75 per cent was recorded, less than the 2013 elections when the poll percentage was about 90 per cent. All eyes are now on March 3 when the results for Nagaland Elections will be announced.