A total of eight candidates are in the fray for the by-elections to the two Assembly seats – Southern Angami-I constituency and Pungro-Kiphire (ST) constituency – in Nagaland scheduled for November 3.

The nominations of all the three candidates for the Southern Angami-I constituency in Kohima district were found valid after scrutiny by Jakhama SDO (C) and returning officer Ruopfukuotuo Noudi in his office chamber on Saturday.

The three candidates are Medo Yhokha from ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Kikovi Kirha from Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) and Independent candidate Seyievilie Peter Zashumo.

The scrutiny was done in presence of general observer SK Pradhan, secretary (protocol), Home Department, Sikkim, and all other party agents.

In the Pungro-Kiphire constituency, nominations of all the six candidates were found valid following scrutiny on Saturday.

The qualified candidates are INC’s Khaseo Anar, BJP’s Lirimong Sangtam, Independent candidates S Kiusumew Yimchunger, Lithriyem Dupongle, K Shellumthong Yimchunger and T Yangseo Sangtam.

However, Independent candidate Lithriyem Dupongle withdrew his candidature, leaving only five candidates in the fray, according to an update from Kiphire additional deputy commissioner and returning officer Nyempo Wallim.

The Southern Angami-I constituency fell vacant following the death of former Nagaland Assembly Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshü on December 30 last year. Yhoshü was elected to the Assembly on NDPP ticket.

The bye-election to Pungro-Kiphire constituency was necessitated following the death of NPF legislator T Torechu on December 16 last year.

The BJP, which is in alliance with the NDPP in the state government, has not fielded its candidate in Southern Angami-I constituency while the NDPP has not set up its candidate in Pungro-Kiphire constituency.

On the other hand, the INC which fought the last Lok Sabha election in the state in alliance with the NPF did not field its candidate in Southern Angami-I constituency and the NPF did not put up its candidate in Pungro-Kiphire constituency.

In the 60-member Nagaland Assembly, the NDPP initially had 19 members, BJP 12, NPF 26, National People’s Party (NPP) two and an Independent.

While one member each of the NDPP and the NPF passed away, the two NPP legislators shifted allegiance to the ruling NDPP.

Bhadra Gogoi

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