HM detained: How gun, money power rule elections in Nagaland

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Neiphiu Rio
Kohima, Feb 18: It is a well-known fact that gun and money power rule elections in hill state of Nagaland. Nagaland Assembly Elections 2013 is slated on Feb 23.

The detention of Nagaland's home minister Imkong L Imchen for allegedly carrying a cache of arms and ammunition and Rs 1.10 crore in cash in a vehicle has once again brought the disturbing fact of gun and money power used to win elections in Nagaland into the forefront. Imchen was detained on Monday, Feb 18 near Wokha district in Nagaland, said official sources.

"Imchen was going to his constituency Koridanga in Mokokchung district from Kohima when Assam Rifles personnel conducting search of vehicles near Wokha district found the arms and ammunition, liquor and cash," said an official.

The Assam Rifles personnel handed him over to the district administration and police.

Imchen is the Nagaland People's Front (NPF) candidate from Koridanga and is also the NPF campaign in-charge of Mokokchung district.

Voters in Nagaland are frustrated over level of corruption and muscle power used to win elections in the state. Voters say, either politicians pay or bully them to vote.

An activist on condition of anonymity said, "Nagaland politics is full of thugs and criminals. They openly use muscle power and money to win elections. Voters are either given handsome amount of money or are threatened and bullied to vote."

Under such an atmosphere elections are far from being fair.

Earlier, Election Commission surveillance team had seized Rs 1 crore cash from a helicopter allegedly being used by a candidate of the Nagaland Peoples Front (NPF) in Nagaland.

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