Just 17 days before the Nagaland Assembly elections, the state got its first elected representative as Kazheto Kinimi of the BJP won unopposed after the only candidate running against him, Khekashe Sumi of the Congress, withdrew his candidacy on Friday, the last day for candidates to withdraw their nominations.
𝗴𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝘀𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗺 𝗮𝘀 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗶𝘀𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿
This will be Kinimi's second term as MLA from the Akuluto constituency, having previously won in the 2018 elections as a BJP candidate, defeating Naga People's Front (NPF) candidate Khekaho Assumi by 735 votes. In his previous term, the 68-year-old served as an advisor for the Civil Administrative Works Department and the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority.
𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗷𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘆
According to sources within the Congress party, Khekashe Sumi only recently joined the party prior to filing his candidacy for the election, the Indian Express reported.
Ranajit Mukherjee, All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary in charge of Nagaland, reacted on Sumi's withdrawal and said: “He was an RJD youth chief and had come forward to us expressing his wish to contest from the constituency. He was a young candidate from Dimapur, so an outsider candidate but from the Sema tribe which has a hold on the constituency. We were not fielding anyone from that seat anyway so we went ahead with him so it’s no great loss to us. What the external factors are that influenced him to withdraw his nomination, we don’t know."
'𝗩𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲'
In a statement, Kazheto Kinimi stated that the manner in which he won the election reflects the "mood of the people" towards the BJP-Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) alliance.
“My last tenure has seen tremendous growth and progress in my constituency and, I assure to continue to work with renewed vigour and give my best to uplift my people. I shall continue to campaign for the victory of the NDPP-BJP alliance which, I am sure, will return to power again with an absolute majority. My victory is just a glimpse of the mood of the people in Nagaland towards the NDPP-BJP alliance,” he said.
𝗡𝗼𝘁 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘂𝗻𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗡𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱
This is not an uncommon occurrence in Nagaland Assembly elections. In 2018, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio won unopposed after the only other candidate in the Northern Angami II constituency, Chupfuo Angami of the NPF, withdrew his nomination on the final day for candidates to withdraw.
The history of unopposed elections in Nagaland extends further back. In 1998, when the Congress last formed a government in the state, 43 out of 60 constituencies were won unopposed by Congress candidates due to an election boycott call made by the NSCN (IM) rebel group.
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