Naga Polls: NPF Candidate Opts out, Ex-CM Rio Elected Unopposed

Former CM Neiphiu Rio was declared elected unopposed after NPF nominee Chupfu-o withdrew his papers.

2 min read
Former Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

Former chief minister Neiphiu Rio was declared elected unopposed to the Nagaland Assembly as his opponent withdrew his nomination today, the last date for withdrawal, Chief Electoral Officer of the north-eastern state Abhijit Sinha said.

For Rio, who is currently Nagaland's lone Lok Sabha member, it is the second time that he has been declared uncontested. The first time he won uncontested was a Congress candidate in 1998, when the separatist National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) and Naga Hoho had called for a poll boycott after it signed a ceasefire with the Indian government in 1997.

Three-time former chief minister Neiphiu Rio, who is returning to the state politics after a gap of almost four years on an NDPP ticket from the Northern Angami-II seat of Kohima district, is the only declared uncontested candidate.

Rio's opponent, NPF nominee Chupfu-o, withdrew his papers.

The NPF candidate withdrew his nomination today (Monday) and the only other candidate of the NDPP (Rio) was declared winner.
Nagaland’s Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha

NPF spokesperson Sebastian Zumvu said the party was surprised by their candidate's decision, while there was jubilation in the NDPP-BJP, which has forged a pre-poll alliance and now has one seat in their kitty ahead of the 27 February elections.

They (NPF) are imposing candidates with money to contest the elections and playing politics with money, but some of them realized that we need a strong leader to provide a stable government.
Neiphiu Rio to IANS

"I must say that people are fed up with the ruling party and you may expect more surprises in the days to come," the three-time former Chief Minister added.

Rio also voiced confidence that NDPP-BJP will get an absolute majority the assembly elections.

Last month, Rio quit the NPF, which he formed after leaving the Congress in early 2002 and joined the NDPP.

Meanwhile, a total of 195 candidates are in the fray for the Assembly elections on 27 February, after 32 candidates withdrew their nomination papers on Monday.

The contesting parties for the ensuing election are – the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) from 58 seats, the Congress from 18, the BJP from 20, the JD(U) from 13, the National People's Party (NPP) from 25, the NCP from six, the AAP from three, the LJP from two, the newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) from 40 seats, while there are 11 Independent candidates.

(With inputs from IANS and PTI)

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