Rising stars? Young candidates in the election fray

Rising stars? Young candidates in the election fray

Morung Express News
Dimapur | February 13


With elections to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly fast approaching, more young people will take part in the process of electioneering for one simple reason: they are one of the largest groups to decide the electoral fate of Nagaland State for the next 5 years.


According to data from the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Nagaland, 29 percent (i.e. 3, 37,382) of Nagaland’s 11, 63, 388 voters fall in the age group of 30-39 years. A further 23.9 percent (i.e. 2, 78,051) of all voters fall in the age category of 20-29 years.


14 candidates to the upcoming elections are also the youth, aged from 25 to 35 years.


Two young men have decided to walk into the lion’s den of elections in Nagaland at the tender age of 25.


Lepzungchiba Jamir will contest from Mokokchung district’s 21 Tuli A/C on an Indian National Congress (INC) ticket. He describes himself as a ‘social activist’ whose source of income is from ‘entrepreneurial activities’ in his affidavit filed to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Nagaland. Unmarried, he passed his matriculate from Christian School Tuli in 2008.


Another 25-year-old candidate is also from Mokokchung district and fielded by the INC. Rongsenshilu will contest from the 26 Aonglenden A/C. With a profession pitted as ‘public leader,’ his source of income has been ‘social honorarium.’ He finished his Secondary School Examination from National Institute of Open Schooling in 2009.


A woman as young as 27 years of age has taken the bold step to contest in a woman-less legislative assembly. Wedie-ü Kronu from 3 Dimapur-III A/C will contest with a National People’s Party (NPP) ticket. With no inherited property to her name, unlike most of her male counterparts, Kronu is a graduate and social worker who draws an income from agriculture and consultancy.


Another young man has decided to join politics at the age of 27. Fielded by the Aam Aadmi Party, Akavi N Zhimomi will contest elections to Nagaland State from 4 Ghaspani-1 A/C in Dimapur district. Having graduated in 2013, Akavi described himself as a ‘social worker and politician,’ representing the voice of the ‘educated unemployed’ with no source of income.


At 29, Nagavito Sumi of the INC matched ages with Kheyihe Zhimomi who will run as an independent. Nagavito will run from 4 Ghaspani-1 A/C while Kheyihe will contest from 13 Pughoboto A/C. While Nagavito finished his class 12 from Spicer Memorial College, Pune, in 2006, Kheyihe graduated from Salt Christian College in 2012.


Mid range
Most candidates in Nagaland range from the age of 40 to 60. However, nine of the candidates are between the age group of 30 to 35 sparking off fresh hope among voters.


30-year-old, Lithriyem Dupongle, will contest from 60 Pungro A/C in Kiphire district on a Nationalist Congress Party ticket. Having gained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kohima College in 2009, Dupongle is a politician who sustains himself from agricultural land.


In direct competition with Dupongle is 31 years old, S Lunso Yimchunger*, from 60 Pungro A/C who will run on a National People’s Party (NPP) ticket. Lunso, a public leader from the far flung Mimi village, completed his HSSLC from Zisaji Presidency College in 2005 and sustains himself through house rent.


At 32, Zeneikho-o Pfukha* will contest the 14 Southern Angami (Kohima district) seat on an NDPP ticket, Shezato Lohe will contest the 19 Phek A/C (Phek district) from the INC and L Thronghokiu* will run for the 58 Shamator/Chessore (Tuensang district) seat on an NPP ticket.


34-year-old Chingkai Konyak is the only one of his age to be in the fray this year. He will contest on an NPP ticket for the 45 Tehok A/C (Mon district).


Three 35 year old candidates, including a woman, made it as election candidates. Entrepreneur Rekha Rose Dukru will contest the 17 Chizami A/C (Phek district) as an independent, social worker Wanglem is a candidate from 43 Tapi (Mon district) and will run from the NPP, and Y Mangkhao Konyak will contest the 46 Mon Town (Mon district) seat from the NDPP.


The oldest candidate in the election to the 13th NLA is 81 years old Kejong Chang from the Naga People’s Front. He will contest from 54 Tuensang Sadar-II A/C with a ton of experience as a politician and social worker.


Notes: * Lunso Yimchunger – 60 Pungro A/C; *Zeneikho-o Pfukha – 14 Southern Angami – I; and *L Thronghokiu – 58 Shamator/Chessore have withdrawn their candidatures as per the final list published by Chief Electoral Officer, Nagaland on the expiry last date of withdrawal on February 12.