With Hayithung Tungoe of National People’s Party (NPP) and M.M. Thromwa Konyak of Indian Christian Secular Party (ICSP) filing nominations on the last day of filing of nominations for the lone Lok Sabha seat on Monday, the parliamentary elections in the State will witness four-cornered contest.
The other two candidates, who filed nominations for the April 11 poll in the State are ruling People’s Democratic Alliance’s (PDA) consensus candidate from Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and sitting Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi and INC’s K.L. Chishi.
The nomination papers and other important documents of the candidates were duly scrutinised and verified by Nagaland commissioner and returning officer M. Patton, assisted assistant returning officer Limanenla, in the presence of Election Commission’s general observer Ravi Jha, an official release said.
The Opposition Naga People’s Front has not put up any candidate for the Lok Sabha poll but it is likely to support the Congress candidate.
According to Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee president K. Therie, the Congress sought NPF’s support for the Lok Sabha polls but the party is yet to make any official declaration.
According to reports, the Congress made the appeal to the NPF as the two parties share common ground on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the Indo-Naga political issue.
“They (NPF) have agreed in principle on the issues but have not given a declaration officially on how to go about in terms of supporting the (Congress) candidate,” Therie said.
The by-election to Aonglengden Assembly constituency too will also witness a four-cornered contest.
The NDPP has fielded Sharingain Longkumer, INC put up Alemjongshi Longkumer, NPF Toshipokba Longkumer and NPP O. Tinujungshi Longkumer for the bypoll, which will also be held on April 11.
Interestingly, all the four candidates for the by-poll are from same Ungma village in Mokokvhung district.
The NPF is confident that there still is a large swathe of its supporters under Aonglengden Assembly constituency.
The win in the by-poll will add a crucial member to its existing 26 members in the 60-member Nagaland House which may in turn help the party in fluctuating the political games in Nagaland.
NPP State president Ato Yepthomi said the party had “sacrificed” two of its legislators for the by-election and is ready to use all its resources for victory of its candidates.
The two NPP MLAs Imnatiba and L. Khumo quit the party and joined the ruling NDPP.
On the other hand, the State unit of BJP resolved to work whole-heartedly for the successes of the PDA’s consensus candidates – Tokheho Yepthomi for the Lok Sabha election and Sharingain Longkumer for the by-election to Aonglenden Assembly constituency – in order to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre and chief minister Neiphiu Rio in the State.
A victory in the by-poll would give the Congress the lone MLA in the Nagaland Assembly.
Many ‘dissident’ members of the Congress, including its Lok Sabha candidate K.L. Chishi, recently returned to the party fold.