With only one day left to file nominations for the Nagaland Assembly elections, only 24 candidates have submitted their nominations in 17 constituencies. Most of these candidates belong to the newly floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) headed by three-time former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
“Although not a single nomination was filed in the first five days, 22 candidates filed their nomination papers on Tuesday. We expect more candidates to file on Wednesday, the last day for filing nominations,” said Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha. Voting for the 60-member Nagaland Assembly is scheduled for February 27.
While 10 of the 24 candidates who filed their nomination papers on Tuesday belonged to the NDPP, six were from its ally BJP. Seven others belong to the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF), several of whose sitting MLAs have shifted allegiance to the NDPP and BJP. One JD(U) candidate also filed his papers, official sources said.
The NPF said it stood for a “honourable conclusion” to the Naga problem. “The DAN government has taken several initiatives to facilitate the peaceful resolution of the Naga Political Issue. The Government of India and NSCN (IM) have been in dialogue for 20 years and today the six Naga Nationalist Political Groups (NNPGs) have also entered into a dialogue with the government. The party will also vigorously and persistently work on a mission mode to facilitate an honourable conclusion to the protracted problem,” the NPF manifesto, which was released in Kohima on Tuesday, said.
Meanwhile, the Congress released its list of 23 candidates for the election.