Nagaland has created history with the election of two women Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) for the first time in its history. Salhoutuonuo Kruse and Hekani Jakhalu were declared winners in the recently concluded state assembly elections, making them the first women to be elected to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly.
Kruse, a first-time contestant from the People’s Democratic Alliance, won from the Pungro-Kiphire constituency in eastern Nagaland. She defeated her nearest rival, T Torechu of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, by a margin of 1,210 votes.
Jakhalu, a former journalist and social activist, contested as an independent candidate from the Ghaspani-I constituency in the state’s commercial hub, Dimapur. She defeated her nearest rival, NPF’s Zhaleo Rio, by a margin of 4,471 votes.
The two women have created history in a state where women’s representation in politics has been minimal. Nagaland, like many other parts of the country, has a long way to go in terms of gender equality in politics. The representation of women in politics in the state has been negligible, with only one woman being elected to the state assembly in the last 54 years.
The two women MLAs are expected to play a significant role in the development of their constituencies and the state. They have promised to work towards the development of the region, particularly in the areas of education, health, and infrastructure.
Kruse, who is a trained teacher, has promised to work towards the development of education in the region. She plans to set up model schools and bring quality education to the area. She has also promised to work towards the development of road infrastructure in her constituency.
Jakhalu, who is a social activist, has promised to work towards improving the health infrastructure in her constituency. She plans to set up a hospital and a nursing college in the area. She has also promised to work towards improving the road infrastructure and creating job opportunities for the youth in her constituency.
The election of Kruse and Jakhalu has been widely celebrated by women’s groups and activists in the state. The two women have been hailed as trailblazers and symbols of hope for women in Nagaland.
Their election is seen as a step towards greater gender equality in politics in the state. It is hoped that their success will inspire more women to participate in politics and take up leadership positions in the state.