Appeals to village and colony members to uphold clean election in the current campaigning, appears to be slowly making sense on people. However the number is too few and may not make much impact. Nevertheless a beginning has been made after the issue was taken up by the NBCC in 2012. Elections in Nagaland have been linked with unethical and rampant malpractices which led Nagaland to be socially corrupted, morally bankrupt, and politically visionless. Achieving clean election is not only curbing the use of money power, muscle power and diktats issued by villages and communities favouring a particular candidate. As it is being made out to be, clean election is understood mainly in the context of not using money or other means such as threat or force with the help of gangs. Diktats issued in favour or any particular candidate by village or colony residents is also a common feature of election in Nagaland which is also a violation of election laws. The other important objective of clean election is also about weeding out corrupt and criminal elements. Some candidates could be convicted of offenses but who may have not served prison sentences. The most unfortunate aspect of violation of the core principle of election is how erstwhile government employees who are known to be corrupt are never brought to book. These former government employees who have looted several crores of rupees then contest elections and win by buying votes. The victory of corrupt elements is a defeat for people and their efforts to achieve clean election. The practise of ‘note for vote’ comes at a very high price-loss of accountability- since it is responsible for the serious problem which has totally eroded public value and esteem of a sacrosanct forum or the assembly. It also true that electoral malpractices in the form of bogus voters list, proxy voting, booth capturing, intimidation of voters through display of deadly arsenal, use of armed miscreants to abduct agents and workers, diktats , bribes etc have plagued elections since the mid-70s and spread across the state. Like in 2018, campaigning this time, has been low key as the months ahead of the ECI announcement for polls, were dominated by the uncertainty that there might be no election and especially when all tribal hohos including civil society groups with the full backing of Naga national political groups(NNPGs) demanded that the Centre defer election so as to focus only on solution to the Naga political issue. The candidates who use money to buy votes and muscle power are those who know they have to win by hook and by crook, more so through the latter. People know what are electoral malpractices but unfortunately, since such malpractices are today no longer seen as evil because they have been practised for several decades. These malpractices been tolerated and turned into acceptable practices and therefore, considered as “necessary evils” to win election. Of course, the sum total of a clean election rests on the premise that it will facilitate the entry and electoral success of people with impeccable integrity into the system. Aside from the desire for clean election, the people need to work out and prepare the ground at various levels to ensure that corruption in any form is considered an arch enemy of society.
Launched on December 3, 1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.