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By-election to 26-Aonglenden A/C takes interesting turn

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Cong might back ‘old face’ for party’s revival in State

Kohima, December 9: While the Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to announce the date for by-election to the 26-Aonglenden Assembly Constituency, the by-election is heading for an exciting contest following reports of an “old face” contesting the by-election. The ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) will almost certainly have a tough fight if that is the case.
Even as now foes turned friends, Naga People’s Front (NPF) and the Congress are taking on the PDA, which is a conglomeration of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), BJP, JD(U), NPP and one Independent; by all indications the by-election is expected to have a tough contest if the “old face” shows up again.
So far election activities of political parties are low key affair but sources said political parties are trying to find suitable candidates for the constituency, including the Congress which was humiliated in the last State general election.
While PDA could field a candidate from the NDPP, it is not clear whether NPF and Congress would go together to win the prestigious seat. In the last Lok Sabha by-election Congress supported the NPF candidate, C. Apok Jamir.
When contacted, Congress spin-doctor did not deny the report of the party fielding a veteran Naga politician for the by-election. But there are reports of chit-chats doing the round that old face could appear again for the Congress.
The NPF said it has not shortlisted any candidates but for the NDPP there are intending candidates who are lobbying with the party leadership.
Political pundits foresee fair chance of the Congress winning the seat due to current political wind blowing against the Hindu rightwing BJP across the country. Also both opposition NPF and the Congress have high hope of political realignment after the 2019 country’s general election.
The opposition has also predicted that the PDA coalition would collapse anytime.
The NPF has 26 members in the House of 60, a few seats short to form the Government.
The NPF which had faced defeat due to internal crisis in the last election is confident of forming the Government after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. So far the party is intact, as claimed by the party leadership.
By-election to Aonglenden constituency is necessitated due to dead of former Advisor, Imtikumzuk Longkumer, on September 22 at a hospital in New Delhi. By-election was also held in the same constituency in 2011, where former Chief Minister Jamir lost to underdog Toshipokba of NPF candidate. (Page News Service)

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