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The Lok Sabha 2024 Election Result in Nagaland: A Lesson to Learn

Chief Minister Residence Source

The people of Nagaland have expressed their dissatisfaction through their votes. The ruling government, despite its strong support from the BJP’s Narendra Modi-led central government, must now face the embarrassment and challenge of losing to a party that seemed insignificant.

TFM Desk

The Indian National Congress (INC) party’s victory in Nagaland should serve as a wake-up call for the current government. Congress candidate S Supongmeren Jamir beat his nearest rival Dr Chumben Murry by 50984 more votes. The winner secured 401951. The Congress, previously considered irrelevant and without a foothold in the state legislature, managed to secure a surprising win, indicating a significant shift in voter sentiment. This outcome highlights the potential backlash against a government perceived to be overly reliant on a party that disregards local customs, traditions, and even religious sentiments.

It should also be noted that Nagaland’s state government is unique in India as it currently operates without any opposition in the legislative assembly having 60 seats. All elected members are part of the ruling coalition or have extended their support to it, leaving no formal opposition.  The ruling coalition People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) is primarily composed of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The lack of opposition is a result of all elected members either joining the ruling coalition or offering their support to it. This unusual scenario means that there is no formal opposition party or independent member challenging the government’s decisions in the assembly.

As far as the democratic health of the state is concerned, critics have argued that a lack of opposition can undermine democratic processes, as checks and balances are weakened. This can lead to concerns about accountability and transparency. However, the recent Lok Sabha election results in Nagaland, where the Congress won unexpectedly, indicate that voter dissatisfaction can manifest despite the lack of formal opposition. Questions will arise as to how the PDA coalition could lose to a party with a seemingly non-existent grassroots presence and minimal representation at polling stations.

This result also carries a message for the Congress. The votes they received were not a testament to their merit or a result of sympathy. Rather, these were conscience votes against the BJP/RSS’s perceived excesses across India, including the persecution of Christians, oppression of minorities, and exploitative policies. The electorate’s message is clear: the government must heed the people’s sentiments and avoid taking their support for granted.

S Supongmeren Jamir
Dr Chumben Murry

The Congress candidate S Supongmeren Jamir, benefited from being in the right place at the right time. Dr Chumben Murry, an accomplished doctor (MBBS, MD) and an individual who is eloquent representing the NDPP-BJP coalition, was unfortunately the right candidate at the wrong time. His defeat was more about the party he represented than his own capabilities. It is hoped that he will have another opportunity to represent the Nagas in parliament.

All political parties should draw lessons from this result, especially those in the legislative assembly. Despite their power, they must remember that they represent the people’s voice. Anti-people policies and actions that disregard public sentiment can backfire, regardless of the government’s numerical strength in the assembly. This election result is a reminder for politicians to practice humility and stay attuned to the people’s needs and concerns.

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