Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Political alternative planned for 2023


Several sitting legislators including intending candidates are contemplating on forming a new political party in Nagaland for the 2023 general election as the political apple cart has been upset due to merger of 21 NPF legislators with NDPP and also continuance of 2018 seat– sharing formula of 40(NDPP): 20(BJP) for 2023 assembly election as announced jointly on July 26 by NDPP and BJP.
Sources told Nagaland Post that around 35 ex-parliamentarians, candidates, some sitting legislators, retired bureaucrats and young politicians were working to float a new party and form the next government in the State.
In 2018 NDPP set up 40 candidates and won 18 seats (including uncontested in Northern Angami-II).
BJP won 12 of the 20 seats it contested. (The NDPP tally increased its tally from 18 to 21 after merger of two NPP legislators and winning one by election). NPF contested 58 and won 26 in 2018.
According to sources, the group will soon take a final decision on whether it will join any party other than BJP and NDPP, or establish a new political party in the State.
Those privy to the meeting held in Dimapur recently, explained that some of the NDPP sitting MLAs who won as NPF in 2018 are unsure of getting tickets because as per 2018 seat sharing arrangement, the BJP had been allotted the particular constituency.
Also, some NDPP candidates who lost the election in 2018 to NPF are also unsure of getting ticket since those former NPF legislator(s)are now officially sitting NDPP legislator(s).
They merged with NDPP on the condition that they would be given NDPP ticket for 2023.
The meeting took place against the backdrop of growing anti-incumbency against the ruling coterie and total domination of the present political set up which was the main agenda at a closed-door meeting at Dimapur last week.
After recognising the need to thrown an alternative to the present set up, the group has decided to work together to contest the ensuing 2023 election either by joining a political party or forming a new one so as deprive the present NDPP-BJP alliance a cake walk in 2023.
According to the sources, several within the group were involved in politics prior to 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Sources said the group had been meeting regularly and closely monitoring all political developments in Nagaland including the ongoing Naga peace process and the uneasy calm within NDPP-BJP alliance.
It is yet to emerge as to who will lead the group against the veteran four-time chief minister Neiphiu Rio who will be aiming to break all records when he attempts a fifth consecutive innings as chief minister.
Many aspirants in the group presume they have a fighting chance in view of what one of them described to Nagaland Post as “a mess that has been created for decades” by the ruling set up.
Elections in Nagaland have been more of money and muscle power and 2023 will prove to be a test if voters feel they need to chart a different course.


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