Nagaland Church body continues clean poll campaign
Kohima, Feb 4 : The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) has undertaken a 'Clean Election Campaign' to shake the conscience of the Nagas against the backdrop of rampant and blatant electoral malpractices in Nagaland.
In a statement NBCC General Secretary Rev Dr L Anjo Keikung said some of the malpractices are prevailing in elections in Nagaland and NBCC has identified several guidelines of NBCC,which are the most daunting.
Among the identified malpractice, he stated that candidates should not use 'national workers (rebel outfits)' as use of arms and threats of dire consequences are nothing but 'stealing the rights of the general public.'
Another guidelines of NBCC assumes crucial importance as it throws the entire responsibility on the communities in villages and towns, to ensure that the rights of the people are expressed through free and fair poll.
The 'edict' of some people claiming to think, speak or act on behalf of the entire village or community continues to be highlighted in the local media. NBCC described such decisions as outright denial of the individual's freedom of choice and a 'violation of out God-given right.
It has also circulated a pledge card for voters to adhere to Christian tenets of rights and responsibilities. The NBCC has issued 'Guidelines' for public, political parties, Naga National Workers, Naga youth and a brief thought for security personnel on election duty.
The other concerns contained in the NBCC booklet include-'expenditure' where candidates buy and electorate sell votes having serious consequences as it means selling one's birthright; 'voting age' where underage voters are included in the electoral roll; 'proxy voting' impersonating another voter's identity to cast vote; 'multiple names' where same names are entered in villages and towns; election camps which are becoming 'breeding ground' for all kinds of unwanted and immoral activities; 'prayer groups' that voluntarily go to or invited by candidates to pray and where some use it as a pretext to ask money.
NBCC team plans to tour some of the districts and towns in the run-up to the February 23 poll, as part of the campaign for 'Clean Election'.