Kohima, February 13: Nagaland's former chief minister and leader of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Neiphiu Rio was declared elected unopposed from the Northern Angami II constituency as his opponent Naga People's Front (NPF) candidate withdrew his nomination on Monday. This is the second time in 20 years that Mr. Rio has won uncontested. In 1998, he had won as a Congress candidate when other parties had made a boycott call and abandoned the election.
Rio is the chief ministerial Candidate of the NDPP and is contesting from Northern Angami II constituency under Kohima district. With this, a total of 195 candidates, including five women are in the fray for upcoming polls scheduled to be held on February 27. Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer, Abhijit Sinha assured a free and fair election in the state. VVPAT machine along with EVMs will be used in all the polling stations for casting the votes.
As the NDPP and the BJP had formed a pre-poll alliance, the leaders of both party take this as a positive sign. Mr. Rio, talking to the Hindu said that “I did not expect victory to come so early. This has fuelled our confidence of a good show on February 27 [the day of polling]”.
Neiphiu Rio had won the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 and before that had served as the chief minister of Nagaland for 11 years. He had become the CM in 2003.(With Agency Inputs).