Kohima, March 22: Filing of nominations in Nagaland for the Lok Sabha elections ended Saturday with a total of four candidates in the fray, an election official said Saturday.
Polling for the state’s lone parliamentary constituency will be held April 9.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio (Naga People’s Front), Congress candidate K.V.Pusa and Socialist Party of India’s Akhei Achumi and Congress standby candidate Wangyuh Konyak were the four who filed nominations, returning officer Temjem Toy told IANS.
The trios are contesting their maiden Lok Sabha election, barring Konyak who was elected as Lok Sabha member on NPF ticket from Nagaland in the 2004 polls.
“Konyak will withdraw his nomination papers if the nomination papers of the official Congress candidate Pusa are valid,” a Congress leader said.
Scrutiny of nomination papers will take place March 24 at 11 a.m. while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 26.
Rio said the decision to enter national politics was guided by the desire to play a larger role and ensure development in Nagaland.
“I want to move out of the comfort zone and do bigger things for the people of the state and the northeast in general,” he said.
Rio, who scripted history in Nagaland by becoming chief minister three straight times, said his party has decided to support the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance after the Congress-led union government neglected Nagaland in terms of development.
“During the last 10 years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to visit my state, even when our party extended support to his government,” he said.
He accused the Congress of diverting national highway projects and railway projects to other states, and said the UPA government did not implement the Rs.1,500 crore special package announced by then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during his visit to Nagaland in 2003.
However, the Congress party has described Rio’s throwing his hat into the electoral battle for the Lok Sabha to escape from charges of corruption in his government and to become a minister in the union cabinet.
“We (Congress) will fight this election against the corruption and lack of governance of the NPF government. We are hoping that the people of Nagaland will realised how the Rio-led government has taken them for a ride for the last ten years,” Konyak said.