CM Neiphiu Rio

The by-election to the Shamator-Chessore Assembly constituency in Tuensang district will turn out to be an interesting one with the opposition-less government in Nagaland in place.

The Election Commission on Tuesday announced the by-election scheduled for the seat to be held on October 30.

The seat fell vacant following the death of the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) MLA Toshi Wungtung.

The commission said a gazette notification will be issued on October 1. The last date for filing of nominations has been fixed on October 8 while scrutiny of the papers will be done on October 11.

The last date of withdrawal of candidatures is October 13. The counting of votes will be on November 2 and the election process will be completed on November 5.

The NDPP, BJP and earlier Opposition bench Naga People’s Front (NPF), along with two Independent MLAs, recently formed the opposition-less government in the state.

NDPP president Chingwang Konyak told this correspondent over the phone on Tuesday that the NDPP will field its candidate as the party held the seat.

“We will definitely contest the by-poll,” he said.

On whether other parties in the government will put up their own candidate, “I am out of station and will be back only tomorrow. I can tell you only after my return.”

“Of course, BJP, our pre-poll partner, will not put up its candidate,” Konyak added.

On his party’s decision on the bypoll, NPF secretary-general Achumbemo Kikon said it can be known only after the party meeting. “We will have a meeting next week,” Kikon said.

State BJP leaders could not be contacted for their views.

The legislators of the NDPP, BJP, NPF and the two Independent MLAs in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly agreed in principle to form an all-party government under the nomenclature Nagaland United Government in the state for the cause of the Naga political issue on August 16.

However, the legislators and other leaders of the three parties besides the Independent MLAs unanimously resolved to adopt the nomenclature of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) for the opposition-less government on September 18.

“It has been realized by the political parties that to achieve a peaceful solution to Naga political issue the efforts and sincerity of the elected representatives towards bringing about a settlement to the Naga issue is crucial, and the unity amongst them has to be paramount so as to expedite and achieve the common goal of a peaceful solution to the Naga political issue,” the NDPP, BJP, NPF and two Independent MLAs said in a joint resolution on August 16.

The pre-poll alliance of the NDPP and BJP with the support of one JDU, two National People’s Party (NPP) and an Independent MLA, under the banner of the People’s Democratic Alliance, formed the government after the 2018 Assembly elections and the NPF took the Opposition bench. Later, the JDU and NPP MLAs merged with the NDPP.

The NDPP at present has 20 MLAs, BJP 12, NPF 25, besides the two Independent legislators in the 60-member House.

Bhadra Gogoi

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