Kohima Mar 25: Sitting Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) Lok Sabha member, Tokheho Yepthomi, who is seeking re-election for the lone Nagaland Lok Sabha on Monday got a shot in the arm after seven opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislators extended support to him.
The seven NPF legislators — Kejong Chang, E.E. Pangteang, Eshak Konyak, C.L. John, B. S. Nganlang, N. Thongwang Konyak, Toyang Chang – met Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio affirming their support to NDPP candidate.
Yepthomi is the consensus candidate of the ruling NDPP-led People’s Democratic Alliance which comprises of Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal (United) and lone Independent member.
Interestingly, the NPF which is the main opposition in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly did not file a candidate for the April 11 Lok Sabha polls.
“The absence of an NPF candidate in the Lok Sabha elections 2019 and the decision to support the Congress is against the principle of regionalism and this development has necessitated our decision to extend cooperation and support to the PDA consensus candidate and the PDA government,” the NPF legislators said.
The Congress has sought the support of the opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) to support Chishi, who had served as Nagaland Chief Minister in 1990 for 28 days.
The National People’s Party (NPP), which suffered a major setback with its two legislators merging with the NDPP, have fielded Hayithung Tungoe, who had quit the BJP over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
A lesser known political party under the banner of Indian Christian Secular Party have fielded M.M Thromwa Konyak.
Opposition and NPF leader, T.R. Zeliang said: “Both the Congress and the NPP have sought NPF’s support but the party is yet to decide.”
Meanwhile, the seven NPF legislators appreciated all developmental and progressive initiatives undertaken by the PDA government.
“Ever since the PDA coalition was sworn in to run the affairs of Nagaland, we have witnessed positive changes and restoration of the system of good governance which is in the greater interest of the people of Nagaland. We look forward to an era of stability with visionary and decisive leadership which is the need of the hour in Nagaland to facilitate the much-needed all-round development,” they said.
The NPF legislators also endorsed the PDA Government’s stand as a facilitator to the ongoing peace talks between the Indian government and the Naga insurgents for an early, honourable and inclusive political solution.
In 2018, Yepthomi, 66, won the by-election to the lone Lok Sabha seat defeating opposition Naga People’s Front candidate C. Apok Kamir by a margin of 1,73,746 votes.
The by-poll was necessitated after Rio quit the Lok Sabha and successfully contested the elections to the Nagaland Assembly.