These declarations are pledges of support for this or that candidate.
Sample this. “We the undersigned members (75 names) from Akumen village under 30 Alongtaki A/C strongly support Independent candidate Shri Maotoshi Longkumer for the forthcoming assembly election 2013.”
A second declares the support of 61 households of Kevijau Colony in Dimapur for SI Jamir, Congress candidate for Dimapur-II assembly constituency.
Another had the names of 86 households of Tokugha village printed in support of Naga People’s Front candidate Khekiho Zhimomi for Ghaspani-I seat.
There are more, varying from four-five inserts per day in low-circulation dailies to 12-15 per day in newspapers with high circulations.
The flow of these ads began after the announcement of elections and is likely to continue till a day before polling on February 23.
“The ads before finalisation of names of candidates were to influence party leaderships. Ads after the final list are either out of affection for a candidate or intended to influence voters. The ads work both ways: the candidate gets free publicity
and the people pledging support use them for favour in cash or kind,” a Kohima-based clean election activist said seeking anonymity.
Nagaland’s election department said the media certification and monitoring committees were looking into these declarations of support.