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Change of guard within state Cong
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, Jan 14 (NPN):
Published on 15 Jan. 2010 12:32 AM IST
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Another change of guard, the second after the 2008 elections, has been effected in the Congress when CLP leader and veteran Congressman Chingwang Konyak was replaced by former minister Tokheho Yepthomi and another veteran Congressman K.V.Pusa also replaced by former CLP leader I.Imkong. It may be recalled that on June 10,2008 I.Imkong was replaced as CLP leader by Chingwang Konyak in a move to mollify dissidents. The crisis of confidence within the party was worsened after four Congress MLAs resigned from the party and membership of the house and joined the ruling Naga People’s Front.All four were re-elected on NPF tickets in the May 2009 by elections. The party also suffered one of the heaviest defeats in the country in terms of votes polled when its candidate lost the Lok Sabha elections to the NPF/DAN candidate C.M.Chang. The move to replace Chingwang and Pusa grew louder by August 2009 after the party’s poor performance in the assembly by-polls and Lok Sabha election held in May that year. The AICC rushed union minister of state Narayanasamy AICC in-charge of Nagaland, to Kohima. By December, a signature campaign began for replacing both the CLP and NPCC chiefs when a delegation met with the AICC in New Delhi. According to party sources, five party legislators-Chingwang Konyak, I.Imkong,S.I.Jamir, Tokheho and K.L.Chishi were interviewed separately by the AICC functionaries while NPCC chief Pusa did not go to New Delhi. Following separate meetings held with the legislators, the AICC formally decided to effect a change within the party set up in Nagaland, it was disclosed. The Congress has been losing much ground in the state over the past few years and the factionalism over leadership on few occasions has only dented the party’s image . The despondency within t In the current assembly, the Congress has 19 MLAs after four resigned from the house and the party in April 2009 to join the NPF whose strength rose from 29 to 30 when the four ex-Congress members won reelections on the NPF tickets. Addressing a press meet in his residence here Thursday evening, newly appointed NPCC president I.Imkong expressed gratitude to the high command for reposing confidence in his leadership and disclosed he was surprised by the appointment. He also expressed appreciation to K.V.Pusa’s stewardship of the party during the past one and half year-period and for leading the party to the best of his ability . Imkong also urged the party high command to take note of Pusa’s contributions to the party. Imkong said the immediate task before him was to reorganize and revamp the party at various levels from the grass root and not at the PCC level, as per the party’s constitution. He also appealed to all Congress members to rededicate their efforts in working for the welfare of the people. Meanwhile, both Chingwang and K.V.Pusa, in seperate messages,welcomed the party high command’s decision and pledged full support to the new leaders.

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