With the Election Commission of India announcing election schedule for Nagaland on Thursday, the atmosphere in the state got surcharged with the political parties, the electorate as well as the polling officials beginning hectic political activities.
The election to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly will be held on February 27 while counting of votes will take place on March 3. The present tenure of Nagaland Assembly ends on March 13.
Date for issue of gazette notification has been fixed for January 31, last date for filing of nomination February 7, date for scrutiny of nominations February 8 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is February 12.
The Electoral Roll Audit Observers from ECI – Abhishek Tiwari and Sourabh Rena – visited the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner and District Election Office, Pughoboto under Zunheboto district on Thursday to carry out audit and inspection of all E-Roll and Summary Revision activities in the district.
However, with Naga Hoho and Naga Students Federation (NSF), two apex organizations of the state, opposing the election at this juncture, it is to be seen whether it is going to be a smooth affair.
The Naga Hoho has appealed to the Election Commission of India not to “impose Indian election” at this juncture. Rather, the Hoho urged the Commission to understand the ground reality and convince the Government of India to postpone the election. The organisation recently appealed to the Nagas to gear up and defend the inherent rights and disallow holding of election in their land.
The NSF launched poster campaign in Kohima on January 16 appealing to the Government of India to expedite the Indo-Naga political talks and seal the “deal” before the state Assembly election. It expressed apprehension might create confusion and delay the ongoing dialogue for an early solution to the Naga issue.
The Dimapur Naga Students Union (DNSU) joined the NSF in the poster campaign on Wednesday expressing similar apprehension.
Despite of this, some political leaders in the state have already started intense political activities for the upcoming poll by switching sides while some other leaders are engaged in efforts to strengthen their position by remaining in their parent party.
Former three-time Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday resigned from Naga People’s Front and formally joined Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), the party he purportedly formed in August last year. Former Home Minister Y Patton recently joined BJP. He was sacked from the Nagaland Cabinet led by NPF in December last year.