Just one left for the candidates to file their nomination papers for the Nagaland Assembly elections scheduled to be held on February 27 along with Meghalaya, the AICC on Tuesday has finally released the first and last list of 23 candidates who will be contesting the election.
The core committee of civil organisations and tribal bodies and also the Naga insurgent groups had declared that anyone contesting the elections against "the wishes of the Naga people" would be branded as "anti-Naga".
In an unprecedented move, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) on Friday told The Telegraph that the Election Commission will not persuade candidates to file nominations for the upcoming polls in Nagaland, where some parties have made a decision to boycott the elections in favor for "Solution before Elections".
According to the Representation of the People's Act (RPA) 1951, the poll panel has to notify fresh election if no nominations are filed. He attributed the delay in filing nominations to late declaration of candidates.
NSCN (IM) and Naga civil society groups hold significant sway on Nagaland politics and hence it is seen as a politically incorrect move to antagonise them. "We reiterate our stand that imposed election will not be acceptable to the Naga people", reads the quote from the statement issued by NSCN (IM) published in an English daily.
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The party suspended the leader who had signed the agreement.
The BJP has since come up with a tentative list of candidates for the election.
The NPF, which was a signatory to the 11-party joint declaration to "solution before election" and had chose to boycott the elections, has in a press release stated their decision to participate in the forthcoming polls. On record it is a warning to all of its cadres not to get involved in the upcoming Assembly elections, but to many the same word can be applied to the intending candidates and the political parties which are bent on taking part in the election.
A party source said, "if the BJP becomes the first to file nominations then the blame of defying the call would entirely fall on the BJP and other parties would follow suit with the alibi that if they do not file nominations then it will result in a walkover for the BJP". "Let the BJP and the NPF file nominations".
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