Ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) consensus candidate Tokheho Yepthomi won the by-election to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland defeating Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate C Apok Jamir by a margin of 1,73,746 votes.
According to Nagaland chief electoral officer’s office, Yepthomi polled 5,94,205 votes while Jamir secured 4,20,459 votes. A total of 3,991 voters opted for the NOTA option. The counting of votes began at 8 am in all the election district headquarters across the state and ended at around 5.30 pm.
Yepthomi is a member of PDA’s major partner Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) led by chief minister Neiphiu Rio. PDA comprises NDPP, BJP, National People’s Party, JD (U) and an Independent.
Both Yepthomi, a former minister and Jamir, a former parliamentary secretary, contested the last Assembly elections unsuccessfully.
The by-poll to the Nagaland parliamentary constituency was held on May 28 with a voting percentage of 86.73% as per the final figure from Nagaland CEO’s office. Of the total number of 11, 97, 436 voters, around 10,38,536 voters exercised their franchise on the polling day on May 28.
The Lok Sabha by-poll was necessitated after Chief Minister and NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio resigned from Lower House to contest the Assembly election held on February 28.
With Yepthomi certain to win the by-poll, Opposition NPF and Congress party in Nagaland which joined hands to give a combined fight to the ruling PDA candidate suffered a major setback. The Opposition NPF went all out to win the by-poll to recover some lost ground.
The NPF won 26 seats in a House of 60 in the last Assembly election, emerging as the single largest party.
Another significant aspect is the coming together of two political stalwarts–NPF resident Dr Shurhozelie Liezetsu and Congress veteran Dr SC Jamir. C Apok Jamir is the son of SC Jamir.
The pre-Assembly poll alliance partners NDPP and BJP won 18 and 12 seats respectively, taking their joint tally to 30. Post-election, with the support of two National People’s Party MLAs, one JD (U) legislators and the lone Independent, the NDPP-BJP combine formed the government after forming the PDA.
The by-election is seen as a crucial test for the general elections due early next year.