Nagaland Scripts History By Electing Two Women MLAs

Nagaland made history on Thursday by electing two women to its state assembly for the first time in its history. Salhoutuonuo Kruse and Hekani Jakhalu, both candidates from the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), won the Western Angami and Dimapur-III constituencies respectively.

Kruse is a local hotel owner, while Jakhalu is a Delhi University graduate and faculty member. She is also a US-educated lawyer, social entrepreneur and founder of YouthNet, who has been awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar by the President of India. Both candidates had outlined clear visions for youth development, women empowerment, minority rights and model constituencies in their manifestos.

The ruling NDPP-BJP alliance won five seats and was leading in 34 seats in the Nagaland assembly election. This was the first time the Republican Party of India (Athawale) had contested the Nagaland assembly election, and it won two seats.

The historic election marks a major shift in the Nagaland political landscape, as the state had never had a woman MLA in its 60-member assembly despite women having contested elections multiple times in the past. The only other woman to have been elected to a higher office in Nagaland is Rano M Shaiza, who won a Lok Sabha seat in 1977, and S Phangnon Konyak, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2022.

The voting process began with postal ballots at 8am and was followed by EVMs. The result of the election will be the first step in ushering in a new era of women empowerment in the state.

According to the Election Commission’s data available at 4.30 pm, the NDPP had won 21 seats and was leading on 4. The BJP, meanwhile, had bagged 12 seats. The National People’s Party and the Nationalist Congress Party had won 4 seats each as had 4 independents. The Naga Peoples Front and the Lok Janshakti Party(Ram Vilas) managed to win only 1 seat each till 4.30

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