Nagaland Assembly elections 2018 schedule has been announced and voting will be held in the northeastern state will be held in single phase. The Election Commission on January 18 announced that voting for 60-seat Nagaland Assembly will be held on February 27. Counting of votes will be done March 3 and results are expected to be announced the same day. The election process has to be completed by March 5 as the term of the Nagaland Assembly is ending on March 14. Model Code of Conduct has come into effect in the state with immediate effect after the announcement of poll dates.
While the date of notification is January 31, the last date of filing nomination is February 7. The state poll panel will scrutinise the nominations on February 8. Candidates can withdraw their nomination by February 12.
Announcing the poll schedule for Nagaland, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said that Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines will be deployed along with EVMs for the first time in the upcoming elections in Nagaland.
The Naga People’s Front (NPF), which has 45 seats in the 60-seat Assembly, in the main constituent of the ruling Democratic Alliance. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has four members, the Janata Dal - United (JD-U) has one member in the House.
The BJP is looking to consolidate its position in the northeast by winning more number of seats in Nagaland Assembly Elections 2018.
The Naga People’s Front (NPF), which had earlier said it will break the alliance with the BJP, has now decided against it after the announcement of poll dates. The two parties will continue with the alliance for the Nagaland Assembly Election 2018, scheduled for February 27. The NPF had decided to end the alliance after party president Shurhozelie and chief minister TR Zeliang patched up in December 2017.
The central executive committee of the NPF recently met to review their earlier decision of severing ties with the BJP. “The decision to continue ties with the BJP was taken considering the urgency to create a congenial atmosphere for the ongoing political dialogue between the Government of India and the Naga National Workers (NSCN-IM/NNPGs) for (a) political solution,” party sources said.
Assembly election in Nagaland is being held amid demands from a large section of people for a permanent solution to the insurgency that the state is witnessing since decades. The Naga Peoples Front (NPF) has said that it stands for an early solution of the Naga political problem - a solution which is honourable and acceptable to all sections of the society.
With an aim of ending insurgency in Nagaland, the BJP-led NDA government in August 2015 signed an accord with key outfit Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland- Isaac-Muivah. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described move as a "historic" step to usher in peace in the state.
While the NSCN-IM is the biggest Naga rebel group which has been maintaining the ceasefire, another faction led by S S Khaplang continues to indulge in violence and was believed to be behind the deadly attack on army in Manipur in June 2015 that left 18 soldiers dead and 18 injured.