The ruling NDPP-BJP alliance seems to be headed towards a comfortable majority in Nagaland, as it is leading in 36 out of 60 Assembly seats. The two parties together have also registered a win in 15 constituencies, according to latest reports.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio won from Northern Angami-II seat, defeating Seyievilie Sachu of the Congress by over 15,000 votes. Nagaland BJP president Temjen Imna Along also won, from Alongtaki, by defeating JD(U) candidate Lanu Longchar by 3,000 votes. Along is also the Minister for Higher and Technical Education in the state.
Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister and BJP candidate Y Patton is leading by over 8,000 votes in Tyui seat. NDPP’s G Kaito Aye is currently leading against NPF’s Zheito Chophy from Satakha. Aye is currently the agriculture minister in the Neiphiu Rio Cabinet.
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The NDPP won 11 seats while the BJP won four seats. The NDPP is leading in 13 seats while the BJP is ahead in eight constituencies. The NDPP has bagged Chazouba, Zunheboto, Sanis and Shamator Chessore constituencies, while the BJP has secured a win in Akuluto and Tuensang Sadar-I.
The NPP has four leads, followed by the Congress with three and the NPF with two. A new political player has also emerged on the scene with Union Minister Ramdas Athawale’s Republican Party of India (Athawale) capturing two seats: Noksen and Tuensang Sadar-II.
Meanwhile, the hilly state also scripted history in these elections by sending two women to the state Assembly for the very first time. These are Salhoutuonuo Kruse and Hekani Jakhalu, both from the NDPP. While Kruse won from the Western Angami AC Assembly segment, Jakhalu clinched Dimapur-III constituency.
The 48-year-old Jakhalu defeated Azheto Zhimomi of the LJP (Ram Vilas) by a margin of 1,536 votes. Jakhalu polled 14,241 votes against her nearest rival Azheto who bagged 12,705 votes. Founder of NGO YouthNet, Jakhalu is a lawyer by profession. In 2018, she was only the woman from the northeast to have received the Nari Shakti Award.
Also read: Assembly polls: 64% voter turnout in Meghalaya by 3pm, 73% in Nagaland
Owner of a hotel, Kruse was pitted against Keneizhakho Nakhro, an Independent. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had campaigned for Kruse. Jakhalu and Kruse were among the four women who contested Assembly elections this time, the other two being Rosy Thomson of Congress and Kahuli Sema of BJP.
Nagaland had never elected a woman since 1963 when it attained statehood. Though women had been contesting elections in the past as well, they were never voted to power.
In 2018, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) emerged as the single largest party with 26 seats and a total of 38.78% votes polled. However, 21 of the 26 NPF MLAs later merged with the ruling alliance, virtually turning it into an “opposition-less state”.
Elections were held for 59 Nagaland Assembly seats on February 27, as the Akuluto seat has been won uncontested by BJP nominee Kazheto Kinimi.