Nagaland Assembly polls: No candidates file papers for election on third day of filing of nomination

The Chief Electoral Officer of Nagaland, Abhijit Sinha, said no candidate had filed nominations for the election so far. The last date of filing of nominations is 7 February

PTI February 02, 2018 19:49:22 IST
Nagaland Assembly polls: No candidates file papers for election on third day of filing of nomination

Kohima: No candidate filed papers on Friday, the third day of filing of nominations for the 27 February Nagaland Assembly election, officials said.

The filing of nominations in the northeastern started following the issuance of the poll notification by the Election Commission (EC) on 31 January.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Nagaland, Abhijit Sinha, said no candidate had filed nominations for the election so far.

The last date of filing of nominations is 7 February.

Nagaland Assembly polls No candidates file papers for election on third day of filing of nomination

Representational image. AFP

In a significant development on Thursday, the BJP, after backing out of a joint declaration signed by all the parties in Nagaland to boycott the polls, announced that it would contest the election.

The media cell convener of the BJP's Nagaland unit, K James Vizo, had on Thursday said that after a thorough deliberation, "it was agreed upon that the BJP would contest the election as scheduled for the cause of a solution in the state."

The BJP, an ally of the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF), is yet to finalise its candidates, while both the parties have not come to any conclusion on seat-sharing for the election to the 60-member state Assembly.

Vizo said the party leaders were holding discussions with the national leaders to finalise the candidates, while talks were also going on with the NPF over seat-sharing.

Rajya Sabha member and NPF secretary general KG Kenye said the party had entrusted its president, Shurhozelie Liezietsu, and Chief Minister TR Zeliang with the task of finalising the candidates and taking a decision on seat-sharing with the BJP.

Except for the BJP, no political party in Nagaland, including the NPF and opposition Congress, has made any official statement on contesting the polls. But they have said they will file nominations if any party does so first.

"The NPF, as a party, has solemnly pledged its allegiance to the principle of socialism, secularism and democracy. However, our commitment towards a solution to the Naga political issue shall continue as in the past," a party statement said.

Nagaland Congress secretary Moa Imchen told PTI that the first list of the party's candidates was approved by the All India Congress Committee (AICC), but the party would stand firm on its commitment that unless the other parties filed nominations, it would not do so.

Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party's (NDPP) working president Nuzota Swuro said, "We are mentally and physically prepared to contest the election, but everything depends on the filing of nominations by the other political parties."

JD(U) Nagaland convener Senchumo NSN Lotha said the party was preparing to contest from at least 10 seats if the polls were held.

The Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hoho and Civil Organisation (CCNTHCO) has asked the presidents and office-bearers of all the apex tribal bodies and civil society organisations to attend a meeting in Kohima on Saturday to chart the future course of action.

A joint declaration was signed by all the political parties in the state on 29 January not to contest the polls, in solidarity with the call of the Naga tribal organisations and civil society.

But the BJP backed out the next day, stating that the final call on the issue would be taken by its central leaders.

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