Nagaland polls: Walkover for former CM Neiphiu Rio as NPF withdraws candidate

NDPP–BJP alliance will get absolute majority Neiphiu Rio

Nagaland polls: Walkover for former CM Neiphiu Rio as NPF withdraws candidate

The contesting parties for the ensuing election are-the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) from 58 seats, the Congress from 18, the BJP from 20, the JD (U) from 13, the National People's Party (NPP) from 25, the NCP from six, the AAP from three, the LJP from two, the newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) from 40 seats, while there are 11 independent candidates.

From the total of 256 applicants for the 60 constituency seats in Nagaland, 32 withdrew their papers and 29 were declared invalid, leaving a total of 195 candidates in the running for the February 27 state elections.

Briefing the media, Nagaland's Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha said Mr Rio's opponent and NPF candidate Chupfu-o withdrew his nominations from the Northern Angami-II seat of Kohima district.

Rio's win also means that NPF has lost one seat to NDPP out of the 59 seats the party is contesting.

Rio's only opponent for the Northern Angami-II was NPF's Chupfuo Angami, who happens to be Rio's brother-in-law.

Referring to the fears being expressed in some quarters by NDPP's pre-poll alliance with BJP, a party perceived as a rightwing Hindu party, Rio said the Church's apprehension stemmed from the happenings in some parts of the country.

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Speaking on the sidelines of the NDPP election campaign at Chiechama scheduled prior to being declared uncontested, Rio said that greed for power had destroyed everything in Nagaland- its image and that of Nagas as a whole.

On crisis in the NPF, Rio said he was not responsible for the crisis.

However this is not the first time that Rio has been elected unopposed.

Rio said a leader not leading the people in the front but a leader leading from behind is very unsafe for the people.

"The NPF candidate withdrew his nomination today (Monday) and the only other candidate of the NDPP (Rio) was declared victor", said Nagaland's Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha.

Withdrawal of nominations for Assembly elections in both Nagaland and Meghalaya ended Monday evening.

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