Nagaland gears up for elections

Nagaland gears up for elections
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, MAR 21 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/21/2019 11:59:17 AM IST

With announcement of the NPP candidate for the 26 Aonglenden assembly constituency by-election on April 11, the stage is set for a four-cornered contest.

After days of suspense and a day after the National People’s Party(NPP) lost both its MLAs who decamped and merged with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), state National People’s Party (NPP) president and election committee chairman, Ato Yepthomi on Thursday announced that the NPP will field  O. Tinujungshi Longkumer, for the by-election.

Evidently, the decision had been known all along by the two NPP legislators who had opposed the move. When their objections were not considered both decided to also make their move towards NDPP. The legislators- Imnatiba Jamir (13 Arkakong) and L. Khumo Khiamniungan (57 Thonoknyu) rebelled and joined the NDPP through merger.

As reported earlier, Tinu had initially decided to contest as an Independent candidate after he failed to get hold of NDPP ticket. 

However, he later informed Nagaland Post that he opted for NPP ticket as the party had mulled to contest the by-poll.

This ultimately led to a friction between NDPP and NPP, as the ruling-PDA had already decided to field a consensus candidate from the NDPP, in which NPP was also a constituent of the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) alliance.

NDPP leader and Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio had also met NPP president and Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad Sangma recently to sort out the matter. Despite, hectic parleys between the two, it was reported that Conrad chose to go ahead and field his party candidate.

It was not yet known as to whether NDPP had officially severed ties with the NPP after the merger of the two NPP legislators.

The by-election is crucial for the NDPP as the strength of the party in the Assembly had initially come down to 17 from 18 MLAs after the demise of the sitting NDPP legislator of 26 Aonglenden A/C Imtikumzuk Longkumer, brother of NPP candidate O. Tinu Longkumer. 

However, with the merger of two NPP legislators, the NDPP received a shot in the arm as its tally has now gone up to 19 in the 60-member house whose effective strength was reduced to 59 following Imtikumzuk’s demise.

In order to retain the seat, the ruling-NDPP has fielded Sharingain Longkumer, son of former minister late Nungshizenba Longkumer, as the consensus candidate of the PDA allies comprising of BJP, JD (U) and Independent.

On the other hand, opposition NPF has fielded former MLA, Toshipokba Longkumer and the Congress, former DC Tuensang, Alemjongshi Longkumer for the ensuing by-election.

Meanwhile, Lipokzulu, who had earlier declared his candidature for the by-poll to the 26 Aonglenden assembly seat, Thursday said he has withdrawn as “a possible candidature for the said election.”

2 in fray for Lok Sabha seat so far

Meanwhile, with regard to the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, only two parties have announced the names of their nominees-- NDPP/PDA has re-nominated sitting MP, Tokheho Yepthomi and Congress has fielded former chief minister, K.L. Chishi.

Though NPF has reportedly received names of two aspirants-- a senior NPF functionary and a former BJP member, the opposition party was still yet to take a call on who will be contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

It also remains to be seen whether NPP may field its candidate for the lone Nagaland Lok Sabha seat, if going by the announcement made by NPP president and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma that the party set up candidates in all 25 Lok Sabha seats in the North Eastern states.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party of India (A), which recently launched its Nagaland unit, Wednesday informed that the party would be setting up a candidate for contesting the Lok Sabha Elections.

This was announced by Republican Party of India  (A) national general secretary Dr. Mohanlal Patil in a letter to the chief electoral officer (CEO) Nagaland. RPI (A) is an ally of the NDA at the Centre.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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