March 3, 2023:
Salhoutuonuo Kruse is a local hotel owner, while Hekani Jakhalu is a Delhi University graduate and a faculty there.
Nagaland created history by electing two women candidates – Salhoutuonuo Kruse and Hekani Jakhalu – for the first time in the 2023 assembly election on Thursday. Both candidates are from the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). While Salhoutuonuo Kruse won from the Western Angami AC and Hekani Jakhalu clinched Dimapur-III constituencies.
Salhoutuonuo Kruse, a local hotel owner, contested against Keneizhakho Nakhro, an Independent. Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio had campaigned for Kruse. Jakhalu is a Delhi University graduate and a faculty there.
Jakhalu Kense is a US-educated lawyer turned social entrepreneur and founder of YouthNet. She has also got the Nari Shakti Puraskar award from the President of India at Rastrapati Bhavan on International Women’s Day. Speaking about Dimapur III seat, Jakhalu in her manifesto has shared a vision for Youth Development, women empowerment, minority rights, and model constituency.
Since Nagaland got its statehood in 1963, it was yet to get a woman MLA in the 60-member assembly. Not that women has not contested for election but they have never been voted to power. This year, the four women candidates who contested elections are Jakhalu, Kruse, Rosy Thomson of the Congress and Kahuli Sema of the BJP.
Nagaland has had only one woman, Rano M Shaiza, back in 1977 who was elected to the Lok Sabha. In 2022, S Phangnon Konyak was elected as the BJP Rajya Sabha member from Nagaland and became the first woman to get a seat in the Upper House.