Moderate enthusiasm for adjourned poll in Yonglok
YONGLOK, MAY 10
58.6 % voter turnout out of 302 electorate
The adjourned poll in Yonglok was held amidst an air of uncertainty with only the very determined and committed villagers from Ladaigarh turning up at the alternate polling station, in a forested area, under Longleng district. This too after skirting round cordons of Assam police posted at Ladaigarh.
The ECI had ordered the adjourned poll for Ladaigarh polling station to be held outside the disputed area, after Assam police had prevented voters from exercising their franchisee on April 9 last.
But despite the state government’s earnest efforts to retain the rights of the 302 voters who could not vote with the rest of the state, it was clear the voters did not think on the same lines.Rampant proxy voting marked the exercise with 58.6 % votes being cast. Officials said that 177 voters cast their ballot out of the total 302. But the number of villagers who turned up at the makeshift polling station did not quite show these numbers.
A village leader from Ladaigarh said that 30 of the villagers had entered Yonglok late last night, trekking the jungle. Another group of youth from the village reached the makeshift polling station in the morning.
All of them had snubbed the usual road, said to be guarded by Assam police, to sneak into Yonglok through the jungle. While it was clarified that the adjourned poll was meant only for the villagers of Ladaigarh, some of the villagers of Yonglok were also seen casting votes.
Polling in Yonglonk on Saturday almost seemed surreal, and more a formality than any other exercise with neither election officers nor officials from the district administration and police showing concern for blatant proxy voting.
Despite the tension that accompanied the build up to this adjourned poll, the whole exercise went off without any disturbances. As precautionary measures, Nagaland police had dispatched three companies of IRB jawans on Friday.
Interestingly, the number of security personnel was almost the double of the voters’ turnout, even judged by the officials’ figure. And perhaps for the first time, voting exercise in one single polling station was carried out under the watchful presence of a police officer in the rank of an IGP.
Meanwhile, the Naga Hoho expressed its heartfelt gratitude to Commissioner & Returning Officer and CEO for conducting the adjourned poll in Ladaigarh. In a release today, the Hoho also appreciated the RO for incessantly persuing with the Election Commission of India for polling at Ladiagarh.
“We strongly feel that the decision of ECI and conduct of polling at Laidigarh without fear or favor is a realization of the demand of its just rights of the Naga people,” the release stated.