Bhandari: Mmhonlumo Kikon has everything going for him – he is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national spokesperson, a published poet, and an advisor in the outgoing government.

Unless anti-incumbency was to be a factor, the BJP legislator is counting on the work he has done as an elected representative and looking for a third straight term from the Bhandari constituency in Wokha district, which borders Assam and finds itself in the middle of the inter-state boundary dispute.

“We have been discussing the matter of settling the border issue with Assam… There is a tripartite discussion going on between the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the state governments of Assam and Nagaland,” BJP MLA from the Bhandari constituency, Mmhonlumo Kikon told EastMojo.

The Bhandari legislative assembly constituency in Wokha district has 26,400,46 voters spread across 76 villages. Kikon is hopeful the inter-state boundary dispute with Assam “will be resolved amicably once and for all in a very short time”.

Achumbemo Kikon of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) was defeated by Mmhonlumo Kikon by 254 votes in 2013 (on NCP ticket) and 312 votes in 2018 state polls (on BJP ticket).

The party’s local office is filled with banners and flags of the BJP, with youth members busy sorting through the bundles and preparing to despatch it. Bamboo poles are also being cut and readied by in the courtyard for affixing the party flags.

“In this long stretch of the Wokha district border with Assam, 4 PMGSYs have been sanctioned. Since time immemorial, villagers here have not seen black-top roads. We are now fortunate to see three black-top roads. This has benefitted farmers who sell their  produce in neighbouring cities and towns of Assam. It has economically uplifted our people.”

While Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is among the star campaigners scheduled to canvas for Kikon this time, his supporters are confident of a third consecutive win for the legislator.

“Of course, our candidate Mmhonlumo Kikon is winning. His margin will go up drastically this time from what we can gauge from the people’s response,” said N Shungdemo Kikon, the chief of the BJP mandal for the Bhandari legislative assembly constituency.

While talking to EastMojo’s editor-in-chief Karma Paljor last week, Kikon said his work in the constitiency has primarily focussed on “basic requirement at base level”, primary among them the health and education sectors.

“For a very long time, my constituency did not have high school buildings that could be called quality high-school buildings. There are six government high schools in my constituency, and I have built five of those in the past 10 years as the MLA.”

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Regarding health infrastructure, Kikon said: “I have brought in, recognized and upgraded sub-centres into primary health centres. Through AYUSH, we have built 6-bedded AYUSH hospitals in 14 villages. In Bhandari, there are 12-bedded AYUSH hospitals.”

Two “state-of-the-art ambulances”, first in the constituency, started plying during Kikon’s tenure. One of these was bought using his local area development fund, while the other was financed by the state government.

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