Kohima, May 23 (EMN): After a pulsating race that went down right to the wire, sitting MP Tokheho Yepthomi of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) won the lone Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 16344 from his closest rival KL Chishi, when result was declared on Thursday night. He was the consensus candidate of People’s Democratic Alliance.
Yepthomi secured 500510 votes out of the total 1002670 across Nagaland. Counting of votes, which began at 8 am, ended at around 7.30 pm.
The Indian National Congress (INC) candidate KL Chishi managed to get 4,84,166 votes. Hayithung Tungoe of NPP received 14,997 votes, while Dr. MM Thromwa Konyak (Independent) secured 4,620. There were 2,064 ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) votes.
Throughout the day, the trend kept shifting: Yepthomi led the race till midday, only to be overtaken by Chishi till evening. Yet again, in a dramatic turn, Yepthomi took over the race—by a margin of 166 votes—at around 6.30 pm, and eventually clinched the race.
Addressing a press conference, Returning Officer and Commissioner M Patton said the result was provisional. “Figure may not change, but because of the non-fulfilment of the provisions, and a requirement of cross-verification as per the ECI guidelines, the result remains provisional.”
From the perspective of law and order, he said, this election was the most peaceful. Except for three districts—Mon, Mokokchung and Zunheboto—all districts have uploaded its respective result, Patton said. The final result will be declared after procuring reports from all the district, he added.
There were 5295 Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) votes cast out of which 1080 were rejected. Out of the valid 4215 votes, 2251 were for Chishi. Yepthomi received 827, while Hayithung got 778 votes and MM Thromwa Konyak managed to get 304 votes. Fifty-five were NOTA.
The EVMs were counted at 12 centres across the state while the postal ballots were counted at the office of Commissioner and Returning, Kohima.
After the completion of all the EVM rounds of an assembly segment, the mandatory verification of VVPAT paper slips of five randomly selected polling stations of that Assembly segment were also conducted by the AROs, CEO Abhijit Sinha said.
Yepthomi calls for introspection
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, May 23: After emerging victorious, Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi called for introspection “about our faith in God if the trend of voting for a particular political party gives credence of being Christians.”
In a statement issued shortly after confirming his triumph, Yepthomi said: “The 17th Lok Sabha election in Nagaland has been the first ever election in our state where voters were polarised on the basis of religion.
“The misinterpretation of issues and our religion to misguide voters was not only by political opponents but also by other members of our society who are leaders in their capacities. Religion is an individual right and belief, whereas elections are to seek the mandate of the people through policies for peoples’ future.”
Speaking to Eastern Mirror, Yepthomi said that he will give his best for Naga people. On Citizenship Amendment Bill, he asked the people of Nagaland not to worry as it has ‘nothing to do with Nagaland.’
In the statement, he also thanked members of the People’s Democratic Alliance led by the chief minister and the deputy chief minister for reposing their faith in him.