Nagaland's Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), the dominant regional power ruling the state in alliance with the BJP, announced its list of 40 candidates today. The list excludes 15 sitting MLAs. The BJP, which is contesting in 20 seats, also dropped a sitting MLA.
Party sources said the MLAs have been dropped to give a chance to new faces. The NDPP has denied tickets to 12 NPF (Naga People's Front) MLAs who joined the party.
The Congress, which has no MLA in the outgoing assembly, is yet to announce its list though the party earlier said it would contest in all 60 seats.
The NPF is also yet to announce its candidates. Party sources said they are expecting many of the dropped MLAs to join and indicated that a call can be taken later.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio's NDPP and BJP are contesting the elections to the 60-member assembly in alliance for the second consecutive term. In 2018, the NDPP had won 18 seats, and its tally rose to 21 after it won three bypolls. In April last year, its strength doubled to 42 when 21 MLAs of the Naga People's Front joined.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United has declared two candidates, including its state unit president NSN Lotha. Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) has announced one candidate.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), NPP, and the state's newest political parties -- Rising Peoples' Party (RPP) and North East Democratic Front (NEDF) -- are also likely to field candidates for the elections.
The election is due on February 27, the votes will be counted on March 2.