Kohima, Feb 19 : Church bodies in Nagaland have been guidelines to be followed by political members in the upcoming Assembly elections.
The church which holds a big sway over the people has issued the guidlines asking people not to be lured by liquor and money or to be cowed down by muscle power during the elections.
"We have asked the people to exercise their votes without accepting any monetary benefits. We have also asked the candidate not to rig the polls and not to use muscle power or money power to influence elections," said Reverend Kevikielie Linyu, Executive Director, Angami Baptist Church Council (ABCC).
People find the step would be beneficial if not now, but surely in the long run.
"We are hoping that even if we are not able to make that impact now for this election, this could be a start or a kick to a better election process," said Hekani Jakhalu, a lawyer and coordinator of Youthnet, a self-help group
The church and the civil society in Nagaland have been a major unifying force in Nagaland calling for peaceful elections.
The main contest is between the Nagaland People's Front and the Congress.
The poll runup has witnessed some turbulence due to the fall of the Neiphiu Rio-led Democratic Alliance government.
The last date for filing nomination papers is February 16, followed by withdrawal before February 20.
Nagaland, the insurgency-racked state goes for elections to the 40-member state assembly on March 5.