Nagaland gears up for Assembly elections

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Kohima, Feb 8 : Campaign fever is mounting high in Nagaland as the State gears up for the elections for the 40-member State Assembly on March 5.

The main contest is between the Nagaland People's Front and the Congress party.

The poll run up has witnessed some turbulence due to the fall of the Neiphiuio-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland Government.

Last month President's rule was imposed in the State, after the coalition Government backed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), wanted to continue in office even after losing a no-confidence vote.

Nagaland is home to one of oldest insurgencies. Security concerns are paramount despite the cease-fire between the Government and the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM) led by Isak Chishi SwundThuingaleng Muivah.

The 1997 truce has largely capped violence, although peace talks have made little progress.

The younger generation is particularly keen about bringing peace and prosperity in the State by the elected candidates.

"Without peace development cannot proceed. As without peace there is no possibility of development, as no one will contribute towards development of the State. So peace is very essential for the development of the State," said John, a Resident of Nagaland.

The Congress is trying hand to gain ground during President's rule.

" People are very much democratic in nature. If village authorities are trusted by the Government. I personally feel that there will be no problem in restoring peace," said Z Obed, senior Congress candidate.

The Nagaland People's Front (NPF), a constituent of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) whose Government was dismissed last month, has started its election campaign in the State.

The NPF has formally declared that its first and foremost agenda in the forthcoming Assembly Elections will be to find a solution to the Naga problem.

The last date for filing nomination papers is February 16 and Februaury 20 is the last date for withdrawal.

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