Over 47% of sitting MLAs re-contesting from other parties

Morung Express News
Dimapur | February 25

In a clear sign of how ‘party hopping’ is a norm, rather than an exception in Nagaland, over 47% members of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly re-contesting as candidates from other parties in the ensuing assembly elections on February 27. 

From the 60-member house, 53 Members of Legislative Assembles (MLAs) are re-contesting in the upcoming elections. 

Out of this, 26 are re-contesting in 2023 from parties other than they represented in 2018, indicating that 47.16% had changed their party affiliation during the intervening period. 

One of the biggest factors regarding the changed scenario is the ‘merger/defection’ of 21 sitting member of Naga People’s Front (NPF) to Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) last April, led by former Chief Minister TR Zeliang.  

However, this also created some issues in ticket distribution of the ruling party, resulting in some issues in ticket distribution after the announcement of the polls. 

Accordingly, after the distribution of tickets, many announce their candidatures either from other parties or as Independent.

Out of 26 MLAs, 16 contested as NPF candidates in 2016, while three were NDPP and two each National People’s Party and Independent candidates. One Janata Dal United and a Bhartiya Janata Party Members in the previous election are also contesting from other parties this year. 

The changed party dynamic also indicative of how post poll-scenario, with possibility of another ‘opposition-less government.