Other States

After days of uncertainty, Nagaland heads for polls

The uncertainty over the Nagaland Assembly elections has been removed. Four days after 11 parties decided to boycott the February 27 elections, three of them — the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF), the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress — have confirmed their participation.

The turnaround has been attributed to the possibility of a 1998-like situation in which an extremist-backed election boycott helped the Congress win 43 of the 60 seats uncontested. A similar scenario threatened to play out this time after the core committee of the Naga Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations, a conglomeration of tribal and civil groups, last month opposed the elections, demanding a solution to the 20-year-old Naga issue involving a few extremist outfits, especially the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland. No candidate, though, filed nomination on Friday, with five more days left for the process to end.

“The election is very much on. No one has submitted nominations, but many have collected nomination papers across the State,” Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha said.

Officials expect the candidates to make a last-minute rush after the dust settles. The parties have been under pressure from tribal NGOs to boycott the elections.

The BJP was the first to announce its participation on Thursday, sacking a leader who had signed on the election boycott pledge on behalf of the party.

The Congress followed suit and said: “Since all the parties are gearing up to take part in the polls, the Congress will soon be releasing the manifesto.”

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 10:30:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/after-days-of-uncertainty-nagaland-headed-to-polls/article22637292.ece

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