BJP-NDPP retain power in Nagaland, Congress again draws blank

Kohima, March 2 (IANS) The ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained power in Nagaland for a second successive term by winning 37 seats together in the 60-member state Assembly, for which elections were held on February 27.

The Congress, which governed the state for many years till 2003, had contested 23 seats but drew a blank once again. The grand old party had no legislator in the outgoing Assembly.

The NDPP won 25 seats, eight more than its 2018 tally, while the BJP secured 12 seats, same as last elections.

According to the results declared by the Election Commission of India, Nationalist Congress Party secured six seats; National People’s Party led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma managed five seats; Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas Paswan), Nagala People’s Front and Republican Party of India (Ramdas Athawale) bagged two seats each; Janata Dal (United) bagged one seat; while four seats were won by Independent candidates.

Top NDPP leader and Nagaland’s longest serving Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio (72), is now set to assume the CM’s chair for a fifth straight term.

The NDPP and BJP, which contested the elections in a 40:20 seat-sharing arrangement, had announced before the elections that if voted to power, Rio would retain the Chief Minister’s post.

Rio defeated Congress’ Seyievelie Sachu, a greenhorn in the political arena, in Northern Angami II by a record margin of 15,824 votes.

Deputy Chief Minister and BJP legislative party leader Yanthungo Patton (Tyui), former Chief Minister Taditui Rangkau Zeliang (Peren), Nagaland BJP chief Temjen Imna Along (Alongtaki) were all re-elected to the assembly.

Nagaland Congress President Kewekhape Therie lost in Dimapur against BJP’s H. Tovihoto Ayemi by a margin of 6,959 votes.

Meanwhile, in a historic electoral development, for the first time there would be women MLAs in the Nagaland Assembly.

Two women candidates – Salhoutuonuo Kruse and Hekani Jakhalu – were elected on NDPP tickets from Western Angami AC and Dimapur-III constituencies, respectively.

The Nagaland Assembly polls were held for 59 of the 60 seats on February 25 in which 85.90 per cent of the state’s 13.16 lakh voters had excercised their franchise.

Repolling was held in four polling stations On Tuesday.

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