Dimapur: Nagaland chief electoral officer (CEO) V Shashank Shekhar asserted that all enforcement agencies which include the central and state police forces, excise, income tax, enforcement directorates, narcotics control bureau and many agencies will be utilised to ensure a free and fair election in the state.

He urged the citizens to make use of the cVigil mobile app and take real-time photos/videos of any electoral malpractice for prompt action from the concerned authority.

Nagaland, along with the rest of the country, celebrated the 13th National Voters Day (NVD) on the theme “Nothing like voting, I vote for sure”.

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In his address at the NVD observation in Kohima, Shekhar said this day is a day when all the citizens can remember their rights and responsibilities as voters, he said.

“This time there is an added significance due to the forthcoming assembly elections in Nagaland,” the CEO said.

He added:  “On this day we also recognise and felicitate the efforts of various stakeholders who have contributed to a better electoral system.

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Shekhar expressed his appreciation to the two young first-time voters of Nagaland for raising the issue of proxy voting and questioning why do some people indulge in proxy voting and what measures the authority are taking to stop this menace.

“Nagaland is inherently democratic and in any discussion, even the poorest/weakest in the village can stand up and express his views,” Shekhar said.

“May the true spirit of democracy which is already there in our society manifest itself in the formal election process so that the entire election process will take place in a peaceful atmosphere,” he said.

First-time voter Khriesee Sophie, a student of Vineyard Higher Secondary School, Kohima, shared her thoughts as a newly-enrolled voter and questioned how one can sell his/her vote for money or resort to practising proxy voting. She added that a person should be able to exercise one’s franchise freely and elect a leader of their own choice.

Tejodeno Viphrezo Zao of Midland Middle expressed her happiness for attaining the age of 18.  She said she looks forward to exercising her franchise in the forthcoming elections.

To mark the occasion, a special number “My Vote is My Future” was presented by the students.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com