Minutes after Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who is also election in-charge of BJP in Nagaland, and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) chief ministerial candidate Neiphiu Rio announced BJP-NDPP pre-poll alliance in Guwahati on Saturday, the BJP Central Election Committee has announced the list of 20 candidates to contest the February 27 Nagaland Assembly elections.
A joint statement issued by NDPP leader and Lok Sabha MP Neiphiu Rio, BJP Nagaland president Visasolie Lhoungu, NDPP general secretary Rusemtong Longkumer and convenor of campaign committee, BJP Nagaland, Dr M Chuba Ao on Saturday evening said the BJP and NDPP have agreed to have a pre-poll alliance for the forthcoming Nagaland Assembly election on a seat sharing basis. Accordingly, the NDPP will contest in 40 seats while BJP will field 20 candidates in the Nagaland Assembly elections, the statement said.
The BJP has selected a woman candidate Rakhila to contest from Tuensang Sadar II Assembly constituency. Rakhila contested 2013 Assembly election on BJP ticket from the same constituency unsuccessfully.
The list of 20 BJP candidates with their constituencies – Tovihoto Ayemi (1 A/C Dimapur 1), N Jacob Zhimomi (4 A/C Ghaspani 1), Dr Sukhato A Sema (13 A/C Pughoboto), Kevechutso (I7 A/C Chizami), Dr Longriniken (29 A/C Jangpetkong), lmna Along (30 A/C Alongtaki), Kazheto (31 A/C Akuluto), KL Chishi (32 A/C Atoizu), Kehovi (33 A/C Suruhoto), Y Patton (37 A/C Tyui), Dr TM Lotha (38 A/C Wokha), Mmhonlumo Kikon (40 A/C Bhandari), P Paiwang Konyak (41 A/C Tizit), C Kawang Konyak (45 A/C Tehok), Pangyu Phom (50 A/C Longleng), Imtilemba (52 A/C Longkhim Chare), Rakhila (54 A/C Tuensang Sadar II), Haiying (56 A/C Noklak), Kashiho Sangtam (59 A/C Seyochung Sitimi) and Yankiu Yimchunger (60 A/C Pungro).
The BJP-NDPP alliance has come as a major setback to ruling NPF which had also been trying to stitch electoral ties with the saffron party. Before forging the alliance with NDPP, the BJP said it would contest in 35 seats and was prepared to give “friendly contest” to the NPF and other political parties in the remaining seats.
Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang after a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah even declared that the BJP and NPF had agreed to work out modalities for seat sharing for coming Nagaland Assembly election and select the team from the respective party to seal the deal.
Zeliang said in pursuance of NPF resolution to continue alliance with the BJP, he met BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on January 25 and both agreed to continue the NPF-BJP alliance for growth and development .