Kohima, Sept. 1: The Congress has taken exception to the Noksen village authority’s diktat to its candidate, Limaonen Chang, not to contest the September 4 Assembly byelection in the constituency.
In a complaint letter to the chief electoral officer, the Congress said the village council had issued a diktat to Limaonen not to contest the byelection to help Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate C.M. Chang, also from the same village, win.
“The village council is constituted under the Village Council Act and it cannot challenge or hijack the constitutional process of election,” the letter stated.
Former minister H. Chuba Chang, who is also from the village, had decided not to contest following a request from the village council.
The Tuensang administration has directed the Noksen sub-divisional officer to inquire into the matter and submit the report to Tuensang deputy commissioner, who is also the deputy electoral officer.
The party also asked the chief electoral officer to issue strict orders to the village council stating punitive consequences and that they should be made directly accountable for possible booth capturing, intimidation to the voters and manipulation of the election process.
It also requested tight security and sufficient manpower in six hypersensitive polling stations — Noksen, Sangtak, Longra, Momching, Sangschen and Yimrup.
The Congress has also demanded CCTV cameras in all 21 polling stations, stationing of micro observers in all the polling stations and strict implementation of the one-man-one-vote norm. It has also demanded CCTV coverage in the strong room up to the counting day.
In another letter to the chief election commissioner, the party said as Nagaland was a tribal state, the village councils continuously violated the one-man-one-vote norm by casting votes on behalf of all villagers.
The Congress expressed concern that voters would be denied their right to franchise on September 4 by the NPF and urged the Election Commission to install CCTV cameras in all the polling stations.