Dipankar Ghose

An analysis by Nagaland Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which tied up with Nagaland-based Youthnet, has found that 59% of the state’s candidates have assets upwards of Rs 1 crore. This marks a progressive increase from 28% in 2008, and 46% in 2013.

Nagaland Election Watch analysed the affidavits of 193 of 196 candidates, after finding the other three unclear. The analysis counted 114 crorepatis among the 193 candidates. These include 43 of 56 candidates of the NPF, 24 of 39 of the NDPP, 13 of 20 of the BJP, 12 of 25 of the NPP, 7 of 13 of the JD(U), and 6 of 18 of the Congress. In 2008, 58 of 211 candidates were crorepatis, in 2013 it was 85 of 187.

Among the three richest candidates in the fray are two senior leaders of the BJP-NDPP alliance. While senior BJP leader K L Chishi, candidate from Atoizu, has declared assets of Rs 38.20 crore, NDPP CM face Neiphiu Rio has assets of Rs 36.41 crore. The highest assets are of Ramongo Lotha of the JD(U), contesting from Wokha, who has declared Rs 38.92 crore.

While seven candidates are aged between 25 and 30, a majority — 118 — are between 50 and 70. Five candidates are women, the highest ever in a state that has never elected a woman. Only three candidates have declared criminal records in their affidavits. These are Kashiho Sanghtam of the BJP from Seyochung, Toshipokhba of the NPF from Aonglonden and Neiba Kronu of the NDPP from Pfutsero. The cases relate to cheating, criminal breach of trust, breach of trust by a public servant, mischief and criminal intimidation.

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