The ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) in Nagaland on Thursday fielded sitting Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi for the ensuing Parliamentary election and Sharingain Longkumer for the by-election to Aonglenden Assembly constituency to be held simultaneously on April 11 next. Both Yepthomi and Longkumer belong to Nationalist Democratic Progressing Party (NDPP), the major partner of the ruling alliance of which other partners are BJP, National People’s Party (NPP), JD (U) and an Independent.
Chief minister Neiphiu Rio handed over the party ticket to Yepthomi and Longkumer at a ticket distribution ceremony held at the NDPP central headquarters here on Thursday. Besides Rio, several PDA legislators and leaders, including deputy chief minister Y Patton, Nagaland BJP president and minister Temjen Imna Along, NDPP president and PDA chairman Chingwang Konyak, state BJP general secretary James Vizo and NDPP working president Nuzola Swuro, attended the ticket handing-over ceremony.
In 2018, Yepthomi, the consensus candidate of the PDA, won the by-election to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland, defeating Opposition NPF candidate C Apok Jamir by a margin of 1,73,746 votes. The Lok Sabha bypoll was necessitated after chief minister Rio resigned from the Lower House to contest the Assembly elections in February last year.
The Aonglenden Assembly constituency fell vacant after the death of NDPP legislator Imtikumzuk Longkumer in September last year. The byelection is crucial for the NDPP as the strength of the party in the state Assembly came down to 17 from 18 in the House of 60 after the demise of Imtikumzuk Longkumer. The NDPP, along with BJP’s 12 legislators, NPP’s two, JD (U)’s one and an Independent, formed the PDA government in March last year. The Opposition NPF has 26 legislators.