Bid for votes

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 10/15/2020 12:52:45 PM IST

 Bypolls to two assembly constituencies- 14 Southern Angami-I and 60 Pungro-Kiphire- slated for November 3, could witness a straight fight between the ruling Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) and the candidates set up by the opposition parties. Ruling NDPP, the major coalition partner in the PDA, has set up its candidate for the 14 Southern Angami-I constituency. NDPP won the seat in 2018 but which fell vacant following the death of sitting MLA and Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshü. The NPF will contest the 14 Southern Angami-I assembly seat and cede the 60 Pungro-Kiphire assembly constituency to the Congress.For the other seat- 60 Pungro-Kiphire assembly constituency- the BJP has set up its candidate for which it had unsuccessfully contested in the 2018 assembly election as part of the pre-poll seat sharing arrangement with the NDPP. The NPF had won the seat in 2018 but fell vacant after the party’s sitting MLA passed away. Thus, while NDPP will seek to retain the 14 Southern Angami-I held by the party, the NPF will not seek to retain the seat. The ruling PDA has more resources and advantage as the ruling coalition. Both NDPP and BJP have strong grass roots organisations. It is not clear why the NPF has decided to not contest to retain the 60 Pungro-Kiphire seat since the party had won the seat thrice-2008,2013 and 2018. Earlier the seat used to be a Congress bastion. The BJP has made some inroads into eastern Nagaland from where it had four seats. The bypolls are going ahead despite earlier expectations that they could be kept on hold due to the expected Naga political solution. It also indicates that the expectation could wait till the bypolls. Elections in Nagaland are very expensive and which have left many candidates in economic tatters. Worse for the losers if they did not belong to a ruling party. However even losing candidates of the ruling party cannot expect to recoup their expenditures that early. The byelections will continue to be very expensive for parties. It may be recalled that in the 2013 bypoll to the 26 Aonglenden assembly constituency, the ruling NPF spared no efforts nor left any stone unturned materially, physically and officially to defeat veteran Naga politician Dr.S.C.Jamir of the Congress, who was planning to re-enter state politics after his long stint as governor of several states. That byelection probably still holds the record for the highest ever expenditure for any constituency in the state. The spending power of the Congress in particular may not even come anywhere that of the ruling PDA. However, in politics nothing is certain till the last vote is cast and counted. Be that as it may, the main issue that has plagued elections is blatant use of money to buy votes. An overwhelming number of those who win were helped by money and this is the worry that had been raised over the years including muscle power and also abuse of authority. The winners may have a merry Christmas while the losers will have a blue Christmas. Also, the ‘clean election’ campaign launched by the NBCC since 2012 has not exactly paid dividends and the church in particular needs to reassess its failures stemming from over optimism that merely preaching against ‘election evils’ would be a breakthrough.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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