Naga Hills was formerly a district of Assam with only three council seats. It became a separate state on December 1, 1963, with the enactment of the Nagaland State Act of 1962 by Congress. It’s P Sixteen Austriaan official turned politician who played a key role in persuading the Center to recognize Nagaland as a state.
It was a tumultuous time when the Naga National Council (NNC) headed by AZ Phizo had just begun a separatist movement calling for Naga independence. The NNC is the parent organization of many Naga insurgents, including the NSCN (IM), which is currently engaged in the peace process with the Government of India.
Ao is said to have faced the wrath of Naga nationalists, many of whom see him and his party, the Naga People’s Congress (NPC), as puppets in the hand of the central government.
According to Article 371 A of the Constitution, during the first 10 years from the founding of the state, the total number of seats in the Nagaland legislative assembly originally fixed at 46of which six are reserved for the district of Tuensang to be filled by those selected by members of the Tuensang . Regional Council. The number of council seats was increased to 60 in 1974. There were no nominated members on the Nagaland council.
The Election Commission has designated six symbols for the state’s first elections – rooster, elephant, red king, mithuncup and tiger. Both sides of the area, the Kuomintang and the Democratic Party — formed before the election, according to the state election office. However, all the candidates fought as Independents as no party was registered with the polling board at the time.
The initial election to elect 40 members is a lengthy process likely due to poor infrastructure and connectivity issues in the state. Voting lasted for seven days from January 10 to January 21, 1964. The counting of votes was conducted from January 17 to 19, and the announcement of the results was announced on January 31. 1. The first Legislative Assembly was established on February 11, 1964.
The total number of valid votes was 62,175 out of 62,720 votes cast in the first election. The state recorded 76.57 percent of the vote. P Shilu Ao, who was elected from the Impur assembly constituency, became the first premier of the state. Ao and five other ministers were sworn in after the governor Vishnu Sahay.
The state elections office also recorded what it called a number of “interesting incidents” related to the first election:
- Just before the announcement of the election on December 9, 1963, a candidate asked if a man with two wives was eligible to run.
- After submitting an account of election expenses, some candidates approached return officials and the chief of the election commission to determine the date on which their election expenses would be reimbursed.
- On election day, the host of a booth saw an elderly person trying to open the ballot box by holding it between his knees but to no avail. He apparently did so to get the ballot in. Needless to say, many people in remote areas of the state were unfamiliar with the electoral process at the time.
- In North Angami (I) constituency, Z
vikrulie, a candidate with the emblem mithun, was campaigned by a black bull with the words ‘Vote for Vikrulie’ on its body. The bull is then seen roaming around Kohimatown.