Former Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio (pictured above) is likely to win the Assembly election from the Northern Angami-2 constituency after his rival Chupfuo Angami of the Naga People’s Front withdrew his candidature, The Indian Express reported on Monday. Angami, who was married to Rio’s late elder sister, said he had withdrawn his nomination as his “position was not good”.

The decision took the ruling party by surprise. “He had informed us that his position was not good but he should have contested,” the party’s Central Press Secretary Sebastian Zumvu said.

Rio, a three-time chief minister, is contesting for the newly-formed Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party. On the last day of filing nominations, Angami had accused Rio’s supporters of blocking the road when he was on his way to file his nomination paper at the the office of the district commissioner’s office.

In 1989, Angami lost to Rio, who was then a Congress candidate. He has remained undefeated since then.