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Nagaland elections: With a day left for nomination, 22 candidates file papers

Eleven political parties had signed a joint declaration not to take part in Nagaland election till the Naga political problem is resolved.

Nagaland Election 2018 Updated: Feb 09, 2018 15:41 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Naga People’s Front candidate from Phek, KA Nieno, filing his nomination papers on Tuesday.
Naga People’s Front candidate from Phek, KA Nieno, filing his nomination papers on Tuesday.(HT Photo)

Ending days of uncertainty, candidates for the coming assembly polls in Nagaland started filing their nomination papers on Tuesday.

With just a day left for filing of nominations, 22 candidates from different political parties and Independents submitted their papers to returning officers at 17 of the total 60 constituencies.

“A total of 22 candidates filed their nomination papers. Filing of nominations end on Wednesday and no candidates have filed papers from 43 seats yet,” Nagaland chief electoral officer Abhijit Sinha said.

KA Nieno from the ruling Naga People’s Front became the first candidate to file nomination for election to the 13th Nagaland assembly. He filed his papers for the Phek seat around 1:30 pm.

Soon 21 others including Jacob Zhimomi, BJP candidate from Ghaspani, and Dr Nicky Kire, from BJP’s alliance partner Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) candidate from Kohima, filed their nominations.

Polling is scheduled in Nagaland on February 27. The deadline for filing nomination papers ends at 3:00 pm on February 7.

The election process in the northeastern state had met with an obstacle with 11 political parties, including national and regional ones, signing a joint declaration not to take part in election till the Naga political problem is resolved.

The core committee of Naga tribal ‘hohos’ and civil organizations (CCNTHCO), which shepherded the parties to sign the declaration, also urged the Election Commission not to issue notification for the polls on January 31.

But the Bharatiya Janata Party backed out of the agreement making it clear that it will contest polls. The EC too went ahead with announcement of notification on schedule.

The BJP’s decision prompted other parties to rescind and announce names of candidates. However, no candidate filed their nomination papers in the first five days triggering concern about a possible constitutional gridlock.

In the face of a u-turn by political parties, the CCNTHCO decided to dissolve itself.

“As per wishes of the people of Nagaland, our mandate was to try and defer the polls so that the prolonged peace talks, which are at crucial stage, don’t get derailed. But since the political parties have decided to contest the polls on schedule, there’s no point of the committee continuing,” Theja Therief, convenor of CCNTHCO, said.

In a statement the CCNTHCO blamed the BJP for being the first party to rescind from the decision not to contest polls.

“It is for the Naga people to judge as to who threw the spanner in the way of Naga solution,” it read.