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‘Clean Election Campaign’ rally conducted

Youths holding placards at the ‘Clean Election Campaign’ rally spearheaded by the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) at Clock Tower junction, Dimapur, Saturday. (Morung Photo)
Dimapur, November 3 (MExN): The ‘Clean Election Campaign’ rally spearheaded by the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) was held simultaneously in three major district headquarters - commercial hub Dimapur, state capital Kohima and Mokokchung on Saturday.

In Dimapur, the rally jointly organized by youth departments of Western Sumi Baptist Churches Association (WSBAK) and Nagaland Police Baptist Churches Association (NPBCA) with Baptist Youth Fellowship Dimapur, was held at Clock Tower junction with the state’s additional chief election commissioner, Smt. Lithrongla and director, Nagaland Development Outreach (NDO), a wing of NBCC, Dr. Hukashe addressing the rally.

The additional CEC said the need of the hour is to have a “clean system” in the election process so that the electorate can exercise one of their fundamental rights -right to adult franchise – in a free and fair manner.

Lithrongla also briefed on the efforts of the Election Commission of India (ECI) including Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme to cleanse the election malpractices in the country. Emphasizing on the need to exercise one’s franchise, she said also reminded that “your vote is your birthright...If you don’t exercise your franchise in the right way or if your vote is being bought, then there is no use complaining later that politicians are not working for people’s welfare”, the additional CEC said. She also said that the clean election campaign should not be confined to only assembly or parliamentary elections but also be applicable to even election of student bodies.

Director, NDO, Dr. Hukashe in his speech made it clear that the clean election campaign is strictly “non party-political and non-denominational” though initiated by NBCC. “No party has a monopoly on vice or virtue. Issues of corruption and integrity stand above party politics”, he said. Hukashe said that the campaign is primarily a call to all people of all backgrounds to commit themselves to consciously electing leaders of integrity without being manipulated through corruption or other unhealthy means.
Dwelling of politics and Christian responsibility, the NDO director said “we must be reminded that good governance is God’s plan and is desire is that godly men and women represent us.” Youth secretary, NPBCA, Aselie Krose chaired the programme and youth secretary, WSBAK, Rev. Ikuto Jimo pronounced benediction.

Mokokchung: The Youth Department of Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang (ABAM) today successfully organized the ‘clean election rally’ at Mokokchung town which was attended by about a hundred people. The Deputy Commissioner of Mokokchung, Murohu Chotso, president of Ao Student’s Conference, Mokokchung Town Lanur Telongjem (a youth organization) also attended and spoke at the programme. The keynote address was delivered by the Secretary of ADAMYD, Rev Dr Imti Longkumer while the Sungkomen Baptist Church presented a special song. The president of the Ao Students’ Conference, N Akok Longkumer, while speaking at the programme said that initiative of the church is a noble work but at a wrong time, since the Naga people are going through a crucial stage as the political dialogue between the NSCN (IM) and Government of India is nearing its final stage. He expressed apprehension that the clan election campaign might send out a wrong message to outside world as the Naga people want solution and not election at this juncture. The words of the AKM president come close on the heels of the NSF appeal to the church to postpone the rally. Anyhow, the programme here was quite successful. The participants also carried placards which displayed words like ‘All for one, the one for all’, ‘Think wise, vote right’ etc. The executive secretary of ABAM, Rev Dr Mar Atsongchaner, while speaking at the programme, maintained that the youths should take this clean election campaign seriously and work for ensuring clean elections in our state. The representative from Mokokchung Town Lanur Telongjem (MTLT) expressed solidarity with the church with regard to this clean election campaign and pledged to wholeheartedly with regard to ensuring clean elections in the state. The programme ended with a mass prayer.

Jalukie: Clean Election Rally was held at Jalukie, main town, organized by ZBCC Youth Department in collaboration with Clean Election Working Committee NBCC.  Pastor Mongzeung Mpom, member Clean Election working Committee NBCC, in his short speech said that changing our date of birth, proxy voting, selling of vote etc are sin and is destroying our society. “If we want to see the changes in our society, we should stand for truth, there should not be money power, no alcohol power, no physical power,” he said. The programme was chaired by Ndazeung and invocation was pronounced by D. Anui, Pastor Samzuiram Baptist Church. Rev. HM Gonmei, Executive Secy, RBA also gave a short speech. Special song was presented by Christian School Hostellers. Various schools, public, church leaders, NGOs, traders etc. participated in the clean election rally.  

Mon: Mon district too participated at the clean election rally.The programme was organized by the Konyak Baptist Bumeinok Bangjum (KBBB).
Delivering the keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the KBBB Chemyuh Konyak said that the present election practices in Nagaland has become a root cause of corruption in the Naga society affecting even the Church and the family. He said Nagaland has become a victim of corruption and therefore election in Nagaland becomes a spiritual issue compelling the Churches in the state to fight against corruption to bring positive change. He informed that clean election means to fight for the truth and to educate the electorates to maintain Christian value and principles in the elections.   
Chemyuh also cited that corruption started with false E/Rolls and selling of the rights to the candidate before the election.  He also explained to the youths about the struggle of Young Mezo Association (YMA) of Mezoram in combating corruption and later freed the state from corruption through the initiative of the Mezo youths. He encourage the youths to learn from the Young Mezo Association and bring positive changes in Nagaland.
Rev. Yeangphong, convenor of clean election KBBB in his short speech highlighted model code of conduct with reference to Christian value. Ashim Women secretary KBBB, highlighted about the role of women in clean election. Emphasizing on clean Electoral Rolls for clean election, she urged the students to have a single date of birth either in the academic record or on E/Rolls.
Youth Secretary KBBB Poangba cited that the youths are the agents of change and said that it is the duty of the youth to implement the election rules with true spirit of Christianity to remove corruption in the society. Therefore, he appealed to the youths to disseminate the information of the rally to their parents, friends and society back in their respective places.
(With DIPR inputs)

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