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Nagaland

Move for clean election

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By EMN Updated: Nov 06, 2014 12:52 am
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Our Principal Correspondent
KOHIMA, NOVEMBER 5

Concerned about the murky electioneering process in the State, Parliamentary Secretary for Election and Flood Control & Irrigation, Vikheho Swu today held a coordination meeting with the Deputy Commissioners of all districts, YouthNet and The Naga Blog at the Commissioner’s Conference Hall here.
Lauding the YouthNet for its finding that an amount of Rs. 932.80 crore was spent by different political parties and candidates in the last assembly election held in February 2013, he said incurring such a huge amount of expenditure was a wastage.
“The money spent was not used for any productive purpose,” he remarked adding that such wasteful expenditure needs to be stopped.
He therefore acknowledged the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) initiative for ‘Clean Election Campaign’ and also the active involvement of YouthNet and The Naga Blog in the process to create awareness amongst the youths.
The meeting, Swu said, was an initiative of the August 19 joint meeting of the NGOs, civil societies and other stake holders endorsing the Election Department to start the process of Clean Election in the State.
He said in order to start the process of clean election, it is important to have a clean electoral roll with the District Electoral Officer (DEO) and State Election Department. Therefore, he called upon the Deputy Commissioners, who are also the DEO of the district to take up one model assembly constituency to start with.
Swu also said the DCs should submit suggestions and recommendations to the Election Department in any form within this month. The Parliamentary Secretary then disclosed that the Clean Election process from Voters’Day on January 25, 2015.
He also urged upon churches to declare one Sunday as ‘Clean Election Sunday’ so as to create awareness amongst the church goers.
Further, maintaining that Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) was launched in 2010 to educate and bring forth electors to participate in exercising their franchise, he said the campaign has taken a reverse gear in Nagaland. He therefore said that the electorate in the state needs to be properly educated to come forward and exercise their franchise in electing the leaders.
Joint CEO N. Moa Aier revealed that 12 assembly constituencies with a total of 437 polling stations have been selected as model constituencies to start with the process of Clean Election in the state. They are: 1-Dimapur, 7-Peren, 14-Southern Angami, 13-Pughoboto, 19-Phek, 27-Mokokchung Town, 35-Zunheboto, 38-Wokha, 46-Mon Town, 50-Longleng, 53-Tuensang Sadar-I and 59-Seyochu Sitimi.
He also said that strict care has to be taken to comply with the directives/principles of one man one vote etc. during revision of Electoral Rolls of the constituency and enrolling all eligible citizens in the E/Rolls for electoral participation.
Meanwhile, participating in the discussion, most of the DCs/DEOs expressed that the responsibility of clean election and electoral roll does not only lie with them but it should be the collective responsibility of all stake holders, including the Booth Level Officers.
The DCs also suggested that genuineness of the electorate has to be maintained while bigger Electoral Photo Identity Cards should be distributed and other documents used for identification of voters should be avoided. They also opined that politicians or intending candidates should also stay away from enticing voters with money power.
“Clean election is not something which is not achievable, and we hope to have better and cleaner elections in 2018”, the DCs expressed.
The meeting also suggested that all frontal organisations in the state should also conduct at least one programme on clean election while awareness should also be created at the grass-roots level, besides the district headquarters.
YouthNet and TNB also conveyed their support and cooperation towards creating awareness and achieving the goal for cleaner elections in Nagaland.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 06, 2014 12:52:14 am