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Bye-election debacle: Fissures in state BJP noticeable


Kohima, November 13: Fissure in the already disunited BJP is becoming more noticeable after the election debacle at Pungro-Kiphire Assembly bye-election.
But a senior Bharatya Janta Party (BJP) leader dismissed such report, amidst a saffron Minister in the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) having attributed their defeat to disunity and non-cohesion, in the campaign strategy.

Minister for Soil and Water Conservation, Geology and Mining, NSMDC, V Kashiho Sangtam said election has to be fought unitedly, but there was no visible unity and non-cohesive campaign strategy which was also one major factor for the defeat.
However, a senior BJP leader rebutted such claim made by the Minister and ascribed as personal without the say-so of the party. But party source said, “There is no smoke without fire”.
A spin-doctor of the party did not rule out disunity in the party but maintained that it was a collective responsibility and that fault finding should be avoided.
He said it was a collective failure. He was reacting to Minister, Kashiho owning accountability for the defeat, as he had recommended the name of Lirimong Sangtam to be the party’s candidate.
The BJP went to bye-election with a leadership crisis, which has been there since June last. A section of party functionaries demanded that the present President, Temjen Imna Along be removed for being autocratic.
Deputy Chief Minister, Y Patton, and some of his colleagues had voiced for change of guard on the principle of one man, one post.
While Temjen Imna was alleged to have stepped overboard, BJP insider said there was no concrete and valid reason for shakeup in the party in the State, in the aftermath of bye-election. A first timer but image of the incumbent has been consolidating since he took the chair of the saffron party in the State.
But going by indications, the party high command is likely to take a final call before rift widens amongst the party leaders in the State.
The State unit of BJP has been marred by leadership crisis for many years in Nagaland.
Interestingly saffron party President, Temjen had campaigned for the Nationalist Democratic People’s Party (NDPP) in Southern Angami-1 Assembly bye-election, but no top brass from the NDPP campaigned for the BJP in Pungro-Kiphire bye-election.
It was the second defeat for the BJP in the Pungro-Kiphire Assembly Constituency, but most importantly time will tell to which party the Independent MLA will incline towards, even if PDA had decided not to accommodate Independents in the alliance.
BJP legislature meeting will review the by-election recently held.
(Page News Service)