Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Nagaland kicked off its campaign in the state capital Kohima on Wednesday for the upcoming by-election to lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland. The by-poll will be held on May 28 and the counting will take place on May 31.
The NPF has put up former parliamentary secretary C Apok Jamir as its candidate against ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) candidate Tokheho Yepthomi. The PDA launched its campaign here on Tuesday and began campaigning from Wokha on Wednesday.
Speaking at the campaign launch, Apok said the NPF wanted the Naga people to realize the danger of invasion of their culture and Christian faith by outside forces.
“We believe every believer in Nagaland can understand this simple logic,” Apok said. He further said it is in the interest of the Naga people and has nothing to do against anybody or any religion.
“We have the constitutional right to protect our own properties,” Apok added.
The former Rajya Sabha member said he took up this daunting task and responsibility as he believed that his party can deliver and realize the aspiration of the people of Nagaland.
Having served as a member of the Rajya Sabha earlier, Apok said, he was not new to the affairs of Parliament and knows that a lot can be done through it for the people.
In his address, leader of Opposition and former chief minister TR Zeliang stated that the by-poll would take another huge toll on the state’s exchequer as elections in Nagaland were costly affairs. With the state Assembly elections conducted two months ago, he felt that the election will affect the political parties, the candidates and eventually the state’s economy besides consuming the people’s time and energy.
He blamed chief minister Neiphiu Rio for the by-election which was necessitated after the latter resigned from the Lok Sabha in February to contest the state Assembly election.
“The Nagas needed to understand why they had to face such extraordinary situation and a premature by-election,” Zeliang said.
NPF president Shürhozelie Liezietsu said the party has invited all secular forces to come together to fight against “communal forces” and declared to uphold Article 25 of the Constitution which deals with Right to Freedom of Religion.