By Oken Jeet Sandham
KOHIMA, May 13 (NEPS): Former Nagaland Chief Minister and ex-Governor of Maharashtra Dr SC Jamir, who had contested as Congress (I) Candidate in the 26 Aonglenden Assembly by-election on May 7, has lost to his lone NPF rival candidate Toshipokba by a margin of 1320 votes.
Dr Jamir, who had outstanding political careers spanning over five decades, has for the first time suffered humiliating defeat in this high profile straight fight with such a huge margin.
The 26 Aonglenden Assembly segment has a total of 12,792 voters and out of which, 11210 voters exercised their franchise. The Assembly segment has 14 polling stations and Dr Jamir polled more votes in five polling stations, while in the rest 9 stations his NPF rival had much ahead of him. Toshipokba has got 6265 votes while Dr Jamir could manage to poll 4945 votes.
Addressing the press here at the NPF Central office this afternoon after the result was formally declared, the visibly happy DAN Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio gave everything for the success of the high profile by-poll in 26 Aonglenden to Almighty God.
Describing as `significant` the outcome of the result, the Chief Minister stated that the contest was not against the `Congress.` `But the contest was against the policies and programs of the political party contesting in the by-poll,` he stated.
The victory in the by-poll showed that the people had given mandate to the NPF with `more responsibilities` to serve them. He also said that the victory was that the DAN Government was performing and delivering goods to the masses particularly the rural and backward people. `So it is a victory of the people,` he added.
Asked about Dr Jamir who bit the dust, NPF president Dr Shurhozelie said the political era had already ended and `it is time to speak good of the past.`
Denying the Congress charges that the ruling DAN misused state law enforcement agencies particularly the IB personnel in preventing their (Congress) workers and voters from entering the polling stations on the polling day, Rio rather reacted against the Congress saying they had not trusted state`™s forces and depended on the central forces.
Terming as `unfortunate` the Congress`™s failure to trust state`™s forces in the state, the Chief Minister said the law and order was under `control`™ and the election was held in `free, fair and peaceful manner.`
Dr Shurhozelie also described the just concluded by-election in the 26 Aonglenden as `the most peaceful, free and fair one,` comparing to the past ones. Rio pointed out that the Congress was thinking they would be able to suppress them with the forces from the center but such act was unbecoming. Because there was most peaceful and actually there was no room for complaint, he added.
Rio also disclosed that the high command culture was over and the election results coming from other states of the country showed everything in those directions. He however hinted Congress party`™s coming to form for the third record time in Assam was mainly for their initiative in bringing ULFA to the negotiating table.
In the meantime, Rio also congratulated the Election Commission of India, the Chief Electoral Officer and his officials, the district administration, police, central para-military forces and the polling officials for the smooth, free and fair conduct of the by-election which went off peacefully without any major disturbances.
He also lauded the civil societies including the Ao Senden, AKM, Church organizations and NGOs, etc for their positive roles ensuring conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections.
Rio congratulated the people in Aonglenden, people of Mokokchung for their faith in the NPF and their positive role in the conduct of the election. The media, both print and electronic, deserved to be lauded for having played the role of the fourth estate in a responsible manner in reporting the day to day progress of the elections, he stated.
While congratulating the victorious NPF candidate Toshipokba, Rio also lauded the works rendered by the NPF party workers and their leader Dr Shruhozelie during the election.
Meanwhile, NPCC in a statement said the defeat of Dr. S. C. Jamir would not dampen the spirit of the Indian National Congress in Nagaland but give better leverage to fight harder on issues of public importance. `The Congress as a national political party will not be cowed down by elements inimical to it,` the statement.
Braving all adverse elements like threat, intimidation, unprecedented cash flow, etc. unleashed by NPF during the recently concluded election, the electorates of 26 Aonglenden had voted for the INC candidate Dr. S. C. Jamir, the NPCC alleged.
It further said while the supporters of Congress faced the onslaught of physical and mental tortures perpetrated by NSCN (IM) on one side, the DAN Govt. thoroughly misused all its machineries on the other side. `The by-election by all means was an abnormal election, so also the defeat,` they said.
NPCC also extended its heartfelt gratitude to the voters of 26 Aonglenden Assembly Constituency in particular and all the supporters of the Congress candidate in the May 7, 2011 by-election, while appealing to the party workers and Congress supporters not to lose heart from this defeat but to remain steadfast and rise up courageously to face greater challenges ahead.