Nagaland’s uneasiness with women in the political arena is garishly reflected in the final list of nominations to the ensuing State Legislative Assembly.
With only 5 candidates out of a total of 253, women constituted a measly 1.97% of the total nominations. With scrutiny on February 8 and withdrawal of candidatures till February 12, the final tally may change.
With the major political parties reluctant to fielding more woman candidates, it was left to the new entrants to Nagaland State politics – the National People’s Party (NPP) put up 5 women candidates. With a total of 33 NPP candidates, it constitutes 6.06% of their total nominations.
The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the ruling party at the Centre, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has one each while the 5th candidate is an Independent.
Major player in state politics including the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF), as well as the Indian National Congress (INC), Nationalist Congress Party and the Janata Dal (United) do not have any woman representation.
The five women candidates are Rekha Rose (Independent) from 17 A/C Chizami, Awan Konyak (NDPP) from 47 A/C Aboi, Rakhila (BJP) from 54 A/C Tuensang Sadar-II, Wedie-u Kronu (NPP) from 3 A/C Dimapur –III and Dr K. Mangyangpula (NPP) from 51 A/C Noksen.
Apart from Rakhila, who contested from the same constituency and party in 2013, all the others are first time candidates.
The tally of 5 is however an improvement over the 2013 polls where only two women had contested.