Among the 126 hopeful candidates, include two women candidates who have filed their nomination papers for the upcoming Nagaland Assembly elections scheduled on February 23.
One of the women candidates is Dr Yangerla Ao, former Director of Nagaland Health and Family Welfare Department, formally declared her candidature as Independent candidate. She is contesting from the 27th Mokokchung Town A/C, a constituency of her birthplace.
Her campaign theme is “Representing the unrepresented for value rearmament”.
Even though, Nagaland has high Female literacy rates and female enrollment in higher education, and women are well represented in government jobs and women are widely acknowledged as empowered. But crucially, women do not have inheritance rights over property and they can’t represent in the village councils.
According to PRS Legislative Research, only 25 women have stood for election in 50 years in the state of Nagaland. No female legislators elected in the government so far.
The district of Mokokchung is among India’s most literate districts, with both male and female literacy rates over 90 per cent and Mokokchung town is also regarded to be one of the cleanest towns in the country.
56-year-old Yangerla, Yangerla, who is the niece of Dr Talimeren Ao, India’s first Olympic football captain and the first Naga man to get an MBBS degree, will be in a triangular contest with Congress candidate C Apok Jamir, son of the former chief minister and NPF Candidate Rosemtong Longkumer, son of a veteran Congress leader.
The BJP is the only political party that issued a ticket to a woman candidate, M Rakhila Lakiumong (61), wife of former minister late Lakiumong, will be contesting from Tuensang Sadar II A/C in BJP ticket.
The apex Naga women body – Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA), has been demanding for 33% reservation of women seats in Municipal and Town Councils in the State.