Morung Express News
Kohima/Dimapur | May 23
Even as the National Democratic Alliance swept through the country in a wave of victories today, the lone Lok Sabha parliamentary seat from Nagaland state saw an intensely close battle between the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the Indian National Congress (INC), with the former emerging winner at the last hours of counting.
The NDPP’s Tokheho Yepthomi was declared as the eventual winner by a margin of 16,344 votes against his closest competitor, veteran Congress leader KL Chishi who led the counting for most part of the day.
As counting ended, Yephtomi registered 5,00,510 votes while Chishi got 4,84,166 votes.
Others in the fray included the NPP’s Hayithung Tungoe (14997 votes) and independent candidate Dr MM Thromwa Konyak (4620 votes). Meanwhile, 2064 votes were cast under the None of the Above (NOTA) category.
In an election campaign which was dominated by debates regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the Naga political issue, the NDPP’s victory margin of 16,344 was however considerably less when compared to their last win. In the 2018 bye election to the Lok Sabha, Yepthomi had comfortably won by a margin of over one lakh votes.
Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer, Abhijit Sinha in a press conference stated that counting went ahead smoothly and the respective AROs counted each of the assembly segments sequentially.
The counting for the Parliamentary Constituency concluded at around 7:30pm.
Sinha thanked the RO, all the AROs and all the election related officers and staff throughout the state for ensuring the conduct of the entire counting process in a smooth and efficient manner.
Tokheho regrets that voters were ‘polarised over religion’
The MP on Thursday evening issued a statement and expressed gratitude to the people the state and members of the PDA
He observed that the “17th Lok Sabha election in Nagaland has been the first ever election in our state where voters were polarized on the basis of religion.” “The misinterpretation of issues and our religion to misguide voters was not only by political opponents but also by other members of our society who are leaders in their capacities,” Yepthomi said.
“Religion is an individual right and belief, whereas elections are to seek the mandate of the people through policies for peoples’ future. We need to introspect about our faith in god if the trend of voting for a particular political party gives credence of being Christians,” he added.
The MP assured that he would give his “best services as the lone Lok Sabha Member for Nagaland State.”
This article appeared in the print edition of The Morung Express on May 24 under the headline, ‘NDPP’s Tokheho clinches victory at last moments.’