Dimapur/Kohima, May 27: Nagaland is all set for the bye-election to one parliamentary seat tomorrow with all arrangements in place all over the state.
While a total of 11,97,436 electorates, comprising of 6,07,589 male and 5,89,847 females are expected to exercise their franchise on Monday throughout the State, there are apprehension that the bye-election would witness massive proxy voting as experience in previous elections.
Voting in 1855 polling stations will start at 7 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. while in 309 booths it would end an hour ahead. 253 polling stations would have all women polling teams while two polling booths in Wokha district would be manned by only differently abled polling personnel. 225 polling stations would have live web screening and 257 off-line videography.
The Election Department has appealed to the Voters to come out and cast their votes tomorrow. Observing the mood of the people low turnout is expected tomorrow and massive proxy voting would mar the by-election to Lok Sabha seat where former Minister, Tokheho Yepthomi is pitted against former Rajya Sabha MP, C. Apok Jamir.
Tokheho is NDPP candidate and Apok is contesting from NPF ticket. Both were former Congress members.
Voters are not convinced by the appeal of the ECI and widespread proxy voting is expected tomorrow. What action the ECI would take remains to be seen. The irony was that ECI had failed to put into practice the laid down rules of the Commission despite widespread irregularities in the conduct of the elections. The paradox was that even the much hyped Clean Election Ambassador could not vote in the State elections.
The recently held State elections saw extensive poll irregularities throughout the State which has become a threat to Democracy and the ECI’s job seems to be only to conduct the polls by hook or by crook and go away.
Deputing dozens of Election Observers becomes meaningless and futile exercise if the ECI fails to curb the irregularities in the conduct of elections.
By all indications people have no hope on ECI and that democracy is at stake.
Observing the recently held elections even the Clean Election Campaigners, including the Election Department and the Church have remained silent this time on Clean Election.
State is going to by-election after Neiphiu Rio resigned as Lok Sabha MP and came back to contest the State general election after his political misadventure in New Delhi.
The Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) has accused Rio of forcing by-election on the people and vowed to fight the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA)-the alliance of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), NPP, JD(U) and an Independent. The Cock party is supported by the Congress which is now at its lowest ebb in the State.
This bye-election saw NPF playing a religious card which could cost the party in Manipur as it is in alliance with the BJP. Sources said all is not okay in Manipur after NPF President, Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu went all out to attack the saffron party throughout the election campaign. But when the NPF and BJP was in power in the last tenure, Liezietsu had said that his party and Lotus are natural partners and even tried to have a pre-poll alliance with the BJP in the last State general elections.
The NPF leadership has been making contradictory statements in the last couple of months against the BJP which had helped the NPF to come to power since 2003.
But for Leader of the Opposition, T R Zeliang he has not made any scathing remarks against his old partner BJP but blamed ambitious Rio for the instability and crisis in the previous Government and forcing by-election on the people.
The NDPP has promised of good governance and zero tolerance against corruption and rolled out long lists of promises to the people. (Page News Service)