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Nagaland

Bypoll for Lok Sabha seat on May 28; model code of conduct enforced

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By Kohima Bureau Updated: Apr 26, 2018 11:40 pm
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Kohima Bureau
Kohima, April 26 (EMN):
Less than two months after Nagaland faced the assembly election, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday announced that bypolls to four Lok Sabha seats, including Nagaland, will be held on May 28.

The Nagaland seat fell vacant when Neiphiu Rio, who was elected as Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha as a Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate, resigned on Feb. 16 after he decided to return to state politics. Subsequently, Rio became the chief minister of the state as a candidate of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).

The ECI, in a press release today, declared the schedule for by-elections to fill casual vacancy in the Lok Sabha from Parliamentary Constituencies of Nagaland, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The by-election will be notified in the official gazette on May 3; the last date of nominations is set on May 10; date of scrutiny of nominations on May 11; last date of withdrawal of candidature on May 14; polling on May 28; counting on May 31, while the election process is to be completed by June 2.

Model code of conduct enforced

Following the announcement of the by-election to the 1-Nagaland Parliamentary Constituency, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Abhijit Sinha has informed that the model code of conduct will come into force with immediate effect till the time of completion of the election. The model code of conduct will be applicable to all candidates, political parties and to the union and state government.

Candidature

While the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) partners appear to be mulling over fielding a common candidate, opposition NPF has asserted to ‘definitely’ set up its candidate. NPF media advisor and general secretary Sebastian Zumvu was of the view that in the case of Nagaland, the ruling party used to have the advantage in the parliamentary polls, but this time, he feels that the ambience was different.

Stating that the NPF had fielded 58 candidates out of 60 seats during the last general elections and won 27 seats while rival NDPP fielded 40 and won only 18, he pointed out that ‘simple mathematics’ indicates that the NPF had more party cadres and party sympathisers. For this election, he remarked sarcastically, the NPF might borrow the NDPP-BJP slogan ‘change is coming’ as the former has substantial advantage and could spell a ‘real change’.

Meanwhile, NDPP and BJP officials, when contacted, chose to remain tight-lipped with regard to fielding separate candidates as the two parties are alliance partners in the PDA government. They informed that party leaders would be meeting in the next few days and will announce their decision.

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By Kohima Bureau Updated: Apr 26, 2018 11:40:58 pm