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Civic polls in Nagaland on Wednesday — after 20 years

Civic polls in Nagaland on Wednesday -- after 20 years

Kohima, June 25 (SocialNews.XYZ) Amidst the boycott call in the state's eastern parts by the influential Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO), over 2.76 lakh voters would decide the fate of 523 candidates in Wednesday's elections to three municipal councils and 36 town councils in the northeastern state.

Of the 523 candidates, 198 women aspirants are contesting the civic polls being held after a gap of 20 years, officials said on Tuesday.


State Election Commissioner (SEC) T. John Longkumer said that 670 nominations were submitted and subsequently 79 candidatures were withdrawn while 64 candidates were elected unopposed. Four nomination papers were rejected during scrutiny.

He said that no candidate is contesting in the town councils in eastern Nagaland, where ENPO gave a vote boycott call in support of their statehood demand for 'Frontier Nagaland Territory'.

Longkumer, a former Director General of Police of Nagaland, said that a total of 2,76,229 voters, including 1,40,167 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the urban bodies poll. Of the total of 418 wards in the urban civic bodies, 142 wards are reserved for women.

SEC officials said that 108 companies of state security forces would be deployed to maintain security while 8,100 polling officials and staff would be posted to conduct the civic polls.

Longkumer said that many national and local parties are contesting the elections. These include the ruling BJP, the Congress, the Janata Dal-United, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), the Naga People’s Front (NPF), the Rising People’s Party, the Republican Party of India-Athawale, and the Lok Janshakti Party-Ram Vilas.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio urged the voters to cast their votes in Wednesday’s civic polls.

"As Nagaland participates in the ULB elections, I request all eligible voters to cast your vote. ULBs are crucial as they provide a platform for citizens' participation in urban management, and development of our towns & cities. Best wishes for a peaceful & successful polling day", he said on his X handle.

Governor La Ganesan, Chief Minister Rio, the state government and many organisations have earlier urged the ENPO to withdraw their vote boycott call but the Naga body remained firm on its stand.

The SEC earlier served a show cause notice to the ENPO, the apex body of seven backward Naga tribes in eastern Nagaland who urged the people to abstain from participating in the civic polls to press for its statehood demand. People in the six districts, which have over four lakh voters, remained indoors on April 19 in polling to the state's sole Lok Sabha constituency, responding to its call.

Meanwhile, the powerful Naga Students' Federation (NSF) appealed to the people of Nagaland to elect "Nagas by blood and not by adoption" in Wednesday’s elections to ULBs in the state.

NSF Vice President Mteisuding said that electing non-Nagas to local governance would pose a significant risk to the preservation of the Naga cultural heritage.

Significantly, the upcoming local body polls in three municipal councils and 36 town councils are the first-ever municipal elections in the state to be held with 33 per cent reservation for women.

The ULB polls were delayed by around 20 years after the tribal bodies and civil society organisations were against the reservation for women. After hectic consultations with the Naga organisations and civil societies by the state government, the state Assembly, in November last year, passed the Nagaland Municipal Bill 2023 with 33 per cent reservation for women.

Source: IANS

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Civic polls in Nagaland on Wednesday -- after 20 years

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