Ruling party in thin lead as Nagaland results start pouring in

Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang won from Peren constituency by a margin of 5,432 votes

Kohima: A neck-and-neck fight was on in Nagaland where the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) had bagged 21 seats as of Saturday night, and the NDPP-BJP alliance had captured 19 constituencies.

Results of 42 seats of the 60-member House had been declared at that time.

The NFP, which has been in power in the state since 2003 except for a three-month-long break during the President’s Rule in 2008, is ahead in four seats.

Chief Minister and NPF leader T.R. Zeliang won from Peren constituency by a margin of 5,432 votes.

The BJP won nine seats and is leading in two, whereas its alliance partner the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) got 10 seats so far and is ahead in six constituencies.

The saffron party and the NDPP had contested in 20 and 40 seats respectively.

NDPP chief Neiphiu Rio, a former three-time chief minister, has already been declared elected uncontested from Northern Angami II seat.

The National People’s Party (NPP) has won a seat and is leading in two. The party is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur.

The Janata Dal (United), which shares power with the BJP in Bihar, is ahead in one seat.

An Independent candidate has also registered victory in the widely-contested state poll.

To form a government in Nagaland with a 60-member House, a party or coalition requires a minimum of 31 seats.

The Congress, which has given three chief ministers to Nagaland since the state’s inception in 1963, is contesting only in 18 seats, two less than the BJP.

The election process in the north eastern state had started on a difficult note.

Following a no-poll diktat from the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations advocating “solution (to the Naga political issue) before election”, political parties initially kept away from the poll process.

Though filing of nominations started on January 31, the first batch of 22 contestants filed their papers only on February 5, the penultimate day for filing of nominations.

There was a heavy rush of nominees to file the nomination papers on the last day, February 7, and finally after scrutiny and withdrawal, 227 candidates were in the fray for the state polls.


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