The story of how the Alongtaki Assembly Constituency electorate vote has always been unpredictable. It’s not surprising given that the constituency includes more than 30 villages, and political analysts say they frequently struggle to accurately assess the constituency due to its large number of villages.

 

Nagaland State BJP president Temjen Imna Along speaking at a campaign rally in his 30 Alongtaki assembly constituency in the run up to the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly election 2023. (Photo: Facebook @Temjen Imna Along)

 

Temjen Imna Along, BJP State President and Minister of Higher and Technical Education, is the incumbent MLA from 30 Alongtaki AC. He is well-known in the country for his self-deprecating humor and witty remarks on social media.

 

However, the anti-incumbency wave for Imna Along came to light when several leaders from the 30 Alongtaki Constituency gathered at Chuba Ozukum’s residence in Half Nagarajan, Dimapur to support Er J Lanu Longchar, who is running against Minister Temjen Imna Along in the 14th Nagaland assembly election.

 

Er J Lanu Longchar is a Janata Dal United (JDU) ticket holder who worked as a government employee before entering politics this year. People have said that he is one of the toughest challengers and has put the BJP Minister on the defensive.

 

Lolen Aier, a neutral observer, told Mokokchung Times, “BJP’s Imna Along is a good candidate,” adding that the Alongtaki Constituency voters have seen his failures and successes.

 

“He has had a lot of success and failures, but to my understanding, as long as we look at the BJP as a political party, there is no issue, but if we take a deeper look at how the RSS-BJP actually works, I believe it doesn’t suit us,” he said, adding that the RSS-BJP ideology has caused a lot of confusion and fear in people’s minds.

 

He believes that the anti-incumbency wave might be mainly due to the party’s ideology and also the alleged ‘lies and fake promises’ the Minister has made.

 

“I have no evidence of his lies and false promises, but my friends and people I meet often talk about how he has failed to keep up with his promises,” he said.

 

Aier also mentioned some of the issues in the constituency, such as the poor condition of Japukong Road and the poor infrastructures of the schools in the village, and suggested that these may be the reasons why people are dissatisfied with the Minister.

 

“I’ve heard people talk about how his social media presence does not reflect ground reality. As a result, I believe that 70-80% of the people oppose him… But in elections, we focus a lot on money, and everyone has to look out for themselves, and as a minister, perhaps his strength lies there,” he added.

 

“From what I have heard, Er Lanu is someone who wants to help and serve people, someone who is God-fearing, and thus, although I don’t know him personally, I have been made to understand that he has it in him to serve people,” he said of the JD (U) candidate. “As a result, I believe that the Alongtaki Constituency is rooting for him,” he added.

 

Meanwhile, Temsu, another constituency voter, stated that Minister Temjen Imna Along is the good leader that everyone has been talking about.

 

“He is well-known throughout the constituency, the state, and even by the government of India,” Temsu said, adding that the Minister has developed every village in the constituency and kept his promises.

 

“There has never been a Minister in our constituency who has developed all 36 villages in just five years except Minister Temjen Imna Along,” Imli said, adding that he has built at least a community hall or a church building in each village.

 

“There were villages where people had to fetch water by carrying it in Naga baskets, but Minister Temjen Imna Along has helped those villages with wells and other infrastructure,” another person said.

 

However, in terms of praise for the BJP Minister, the JD (U) candidate received the same treatment.

 

“No one in my neighborhood supports Imna Along. We believe Er Lanu is someone who loves serving people, and his vision of developing grassroots is what resonates with all of us,” Asang said.

 

Most voters, however, are still unsure what to expect from this election.

 

Will the BJP’s Temjen Imna Along return to the constituency for another five years, or will Er J Lanu Longchar, the new face of the JD (U) candidate, win this time? We will find out on March 2.

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