Why women entering politics ‘hurt the pride of men’ in Nagaland

(From left) Congress candidate Rosy Thompson, BJP nominee Kahuli Sema, NDPP’s candidates Hekani Jakhalu and Salhoutuonuo Kruse. Photos: Twitter/on arrangement

In Nagaland, the election agent of an independent candidate was heard in a leaked video telling a crowd that time is not yet ripe to let a woman be “our leader”.

“… Where is our pride/ego? We need to ponder on this,” thundered the agent of Keneizhakho Nakhro, the independent candidate from the state’s Western Angami assembly constituency.

The agent’s barb stood in sharp contrast to what Nakhro has promised in his election manifesto, which talks about how gender equity and women’s empowerment would be priority and how women’s rights will be promoted if he is elected to office.

Nakhro, the sitting MLA from the constituency, was denied nomination by the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) that he had joined after jumping ship from the Naga People’s Front (NPF) in April 2022. The woman, who Nakhro’s agent thinks cannot be “our leader just yet”, is Salhoutuonuo Kruse, one of the four women candidates in Nagaland’s electoral fray this time. Interestingly, Kruse has been fielded by NDPP, Nakro’s former party.

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