Nagaland elects women MLAs for the first time

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KOHIMA: Nagaland created history on Thursday by electing women legislators for the first time in its 60 years of statehood. National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) nominee Hekani Jakhalu from Dimapur-III and Salhoutuonuo Kruse from Western Angami the seat was among four women candidates who had contested the February 27 elections for the 60-member assembly.

The poll results were announced on Thursday. While Jakhalu defeated Azheto Zhimomi of Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) by over 1,500 votes, Kruse defeated the independent candidate Keneizhakho Nakhro by a close margin of seven votes. Kruse said it is by the grace of God that she won the electoral battle. I thank my supporters. Thanks for the opportunity. I shall be meeting them (supporters) after collecting the election certificate and we will be praying together, she said. The 56-year-old is the widow of late NDPP candidate Kevisekho Kruse who lost the 2018 elections. She said she decided to contest the elections to fulfill the visions of her husband. Kruse completed her pre-university at Kohima College in 1986. She is the proprietor of a private school in the Chümoukedima district. She has been actively involved with various civil society organizations for over two decades and also headed her tribe’s (Angami) women’s body, Angamimiapfü Mechü Krotho in the past. She also served as an advisory board member in Angami Public Organisation, the tribe’s male-dominated apex organization.

On the election of two women legislators, NDPP secretary general Abu Metha said: It’s a new journey for the Nagaland assembly. It’s a new journey for the Naga people. We wish them the very best and we look forward to a successful tenure for them.

Staff Reporter

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