Current AffairsIndia

Nagaland By-poll Campaigns in full swing

Kohima: With less than a week for the by-elections of two seats in Nagaland, both the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) and opposition parties the Naga Peoples Front (NPF) and Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) are campaigning for their respective candidates.

In the Southern Angami – I Assembly Constituency under Kohima district the consensus candidate of the ruling PDA Government Medo Yhokha and opposition Naga People’s Front’s Kikovi Kirha addressed rallies in the last few days, while the lone Independent contester Seyievilie Peter remained low-key.

Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, who was speaking at Mima and Kigwema village stressed on the need to work for an early solution of the Naga political issue linking it to major issues and underdevelopment in the state. “Our economy is very weak because we do not know how to give back and we have been spoilt by dependency”, he maintained while calling the need to discuss the economy in depth.

Addressing a rally at Pfuchama Panchayat Hall yesterday for Medo Yhokha, Rio said, since the Naga issue was at its final stage and with various issues confronting the State, people needed a stable Government during the crucial stage. Rio urged the people to empower the ruling coalition, which strived for welfare of the Nagas, by voting in favour of its consensus candidate.

He said, the victory of the ruling candidate would strengthen the hands of the PDA coalition for a stable and stronger Government at such a crucial stage. Rio said, while the PDA coalition Government still had two and half years of tenure remaining, anything could happen once the solution was attained.

Rio also disclosed that at his recent meeting the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah and officials from the Intelligence Bureau and special secretary Home, he was informed that all competencies on Naga political issues had been resolved while discussions were on to resolve the contentious issue of “separate flag and constitution.”

President of the opposition party, Dr Shürhozelie Liezietsu on October 26 addressing a mammoth gathering in the candidate’s native village- Jakhama said that it was the right time for the people of Jakhama to unite and vote for Kirha stating that Jakhama village despite comprising the highest number of electorates in the constituency has not had an MLA for 13 years.

Campaigning for the NPF candidate for the November 3 by-election to the Southern Angami-I constituency at Kuchukitazho, Jakhama village yesterday, Leader of opposition T R Zeliang urged the electorate to ponder over what he termed as “technical problem” as both MLAs of Southern Angami-I and II constituencies were from the ruling NDPP Party. Seeking to draw attention on the need to question the Government when required, he said, if both MLAs are from the ruling party then no questions are raised during assembly sessions and thereby resulting in lack of development. On the other hand, a ruling party MLA rarely questions one’s party government and so Zeliang appealed to elect NPF candidate Kikovi Kirha. Speaking on the Naga political issue, Zeliang said solution can be arrived at if both 7-member NNPGs and NSCN (I-M) came together, which was also NPF’s demand for an inclusive solution.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP Legislature Party (BLP) leader, Yanthungo Patton said that PDA Government has nominated Lirimong Sangtam as the consensus BJP candidate for the forthcoming by-election in order to enable him to carry the legacy of late Torechu for the people of the Pungro-Kiphire Assembly Constituency in particular.

A press release issued by deputy CMO media cell stated that Y. Patton during a public meeting on October 26 at Pungro local ground said that, Liromong was young, capable and qualified upcoming leader amongst the Naga youngsters. Patton further reminded the gathering that there will be maximum rumours to confuse the people but he cautioned people not to be carried away by such election propagandas. He urged them to rather stand firm for the benefit of opportunities and development for the area of the Pungro-Kiphire Assembly Constituency.

The Congress party yesterday launched an attack against the PDA Government, listing out the latter’s ‘failures’ in the last three years, as campaigning for the by-election to the vacant assembly seat in Pungro-Kiphire Assembly Constituency.

Addressing a press conference at Congress Office at Kiphire town, Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee President K Therie took a jibe at the PDA Government’s ‘Change is coming’ slogan stating “We have seen what is happening. PDA Government had promised that change is coming but today, virtually there is no road in Kiphire as the Government has abandoned Kiphire district.” Stating that good roads are a lifeline for the people Therie said, “Ministers are travelling up and down so if they have any concern for the people they should have discussed it at the cabinet-level to improve the road conditions but what we see is that only their personal wealth is getting increased and not the roads.”

Therie, who has been in Kiphire campaigning for Congress candidate Khaseo Anar, claimed that among the five candidates in the fray, Congress party is the only party with a defined election manifesto and commitment.

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