The General Election to the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly saw some big surprises with several sitting MLAs including two Cabinet Ministers failing to retain their seats. Of the main players that lost, three were BJP candidates, two were from the NDPP and one from the NPF.
Health & Family Welfare, S Pangnyu Phom of the BJP lost the assembly elections to NCP candidate A Pongshi Phom by a huge margin of 5270 votes in 50-Longleng Assembly Constituency under Longleng District.
Sitting MLA, and Advisor for Tourism and Art & Culture, H Khehovi, was the other BJP candidate who narrowly lost the assembly elections to NCP candidate S Toiho Yeptho by 69 votes in 33-Suruhuto Assembly Constituency under Zunheboto District.
Another BJP candidate and sitting MLA, Mmhonlümo Kikon, Advisor, Information Technology and Communication, Science and Technology, NRE lost the assembly elections to NPF candidate Achumbemo Kikon by 3589 votes in 40 Bhandari Assembly Constituency under Wokha District. Mmhonlümo is also a BJP National Spokesperson while Achumbemo is the Secretary General of the NPF.
Meanwhile, senior politician and NDPP candidate, Dr Neikiesalie Nicky Kire, who was also the sitting MLA and Advisor of Urban Development & Municipal Affairs lost the assembly elections to NPP candidate Dr Tseilhoutuo Rhutso by 1342 votes in 9-Kohima Town Assembly Constituency under Kohima District.
NDPP candidate and Cabinet Minister, Planning & Coordination, Land Revenue, Parliamentary Affairs Neiba Kronu was the other big name who also lost the assembly elections to independent candidate Dr Neisatuo Mero by a mere 104 votes in the 16-Pfutsero Assembly Constituency under Phek District.
And lastly, NPF Candidate and Former MLA, Khriehu Liezietsu, son of former Chief Minister of Nagaland and president of NPF, Shürhozelie Liezietsu also lost the assembly elections to NDPP candidate Dr Kekhrielhoulie Yhome by 1690 votes in 10-Northern Angami-I Assembly Constituency under Kohima District.
When a candidate lost to NOTA
In a strange record of sorts, Congress candidate Khaseo Sangtam won fewer votes than NOTA in the 59-Seyochung Sitimi AC. Sangtam could win just 18 votes while NOTA received 66 votes.
Largest win margin in largest constituency
4-Ghaspani-1 AC: N Jacob Zhimomi with 32037 votes registered the biggest win margin, winning over his closest rival V Phushika Aomi who won 11941 votes with a difference of over 20000 votes. The constituency is the biggest in Nagaland in terms of electorate size with 74,395 voters. There were 5 contestants in the constituency but Zhimomi won 55.95% of the votes.
Close shave: Salhoutuonuo win by 7 votes
In the 8-Western Angami AC, Salhoutuonuo Kruse of the NDPP won the election by a margin of just 7 votes in a straight fight against Independent candidate Keneizhakho Nakhro. It was the closest win margin in this election. Salhoutuonuo won 7078 votes as against 7071 votes won by Keneizhakho. Salhoutuonuo along with Hekani Jakhalu of 3-Dimapur-III became the first women to be elected to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly.
Postal Votes save the day for Azo Neinu
NPF leader Kuzholuzo Nienu narrowly escaped what would have been his first electoral defeat as he won the 19-Phek AC with a narrow margin of 48 votes against his closest rival Kupota Khesoh of NDPP. Nienu won 9485 votes while Khesoh won 9437 votes. The third candidate in the race was Zacilhu Ringa Vadeo of INC who won only 426 votes. At one stage, the NPF leader was staring at defeat as he registered 9076 EVM votes while Khesoh won 9167 EVM votes. It was the postal votes that saved the day for Neinu as he won 409 postal votes as opposed to 270 won by Khesoh.