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Nagaland polls: Of young blood & winds of change
February 15, 2008 09:44 IST
Many new faces from professional backgrounds and youths are trying their electoral fortunes in the March 5 assembly election in Nagaland.
Representing the entire spectrum of political outfits as well as independent candidates, these fresh contenders are even going out of party line of thinking and are speaking about change in Naga society, while many have chosen youth empowerment as a favoured issue to woo voters.
If there are over half a dozen medical practitioners, then an equal number of technocrats are in the fray.
Although their perceptions and perspectives differ on issues confronting society, they are all comfortable with laptops and denim, media savvy, like to speak about change, and have equal concern for the growing unemployment problem.
Five former presidents of Naga Students Federation, a premier students' body, N S N Lotha (Independent), Achumbeo Kikon (LJP), Neiba Krono (NPF) and Vikiho Sumi (NPF), Hokhet Shikhu (RJD) are facing the electorate in multi-corner contests in Tuyi (Wokha), Bhandari (Wokha), Pfutsero (Phek), Pughobot and Surohoto assembly segments respectively.
In the prestigious Kohima town seat, bureaucrat turned politician Z Obed of Congress is facing NPF candidate Dr Nieki Kire, a new entrant.
Senior Congress leader and former minister K V Pusa is pitted against NPF candidate Dr Atha Vizol, a fresher and the doctor son of former chief minister Vizol, a patriarch of regionalism in Nagaland.
Two other prominent youth leaders, Abu Metha, Press secretary to former chief minister Neiphiu Rio and Savi Leigeisie, president of Dimapur Naga Council and a publisher of a English daily are contesting on NPF tickets from Dimapur-II and Dimapur-III seats respectively.
Abu Metha, the editor of the English daily Eastern Mirror, who led a youth movement, Excel, believed he could win as for the past three years he had worked for youth empowerment through music, sports and entrepreneurship development.
There are also a few retired technocrats and bureaucrats in the fray.
Another interesting facet of this election is that many youth organizations have either issued guidelines for a free and fair election or invited contenders to a common platform to share their promises before the electorate.
In Nagaland, comprising 60 assembly segments, at least ten political parties are trying their electoral fortune. The electorate number 13 lakh.