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LS Bye-poll: Straight fight between NDPP and NPF

Apok Tokheho

Kohima, May 14: On the expiry of the last date of withdrawal of candidature today, the May 28 Lok Sabha bye-polls in Nagaland will be a straight fight between the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF).
NDPP has fielded veteran politician, Tokheho Yepthomi, who is also consensus candidate of the partners in the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government. PDA comprises 18 – NDPP, 12 – BJP, 2 – NPP and one each JD(U) and Independent MLAs.
On the other hand, the opposition NPF with 26 legislators has nominated former Rajya Sabha MP and ex-MLA, C Apok Jamir.
Lok Sabha bye-poll in Nagaland was necessitated following the resignation of then MP Neiphiu Rio to contest the state Assembly elections on February 17 last.
Rio contested the February 27 polls on NDPP ticket and was declared elected uncontested from 11-Northern Angami-II Assembly seat.
Rio is presently the Chief Minister of the State.
None of the candidates withdrew nomination till the expiry of the official time this evening, Nagaland Commissioner and Returning Officer, M Patton said.
While political parties are likely to launch the election campaign only on May 16, the Ro said that the State is fully geared for the conduct of the bye-poll.
Meanwhile, the RO today convened a closed door meeting with the candidates and political parties contesting the bye-polls at his conference here.
Both the candidates could not turn up, but their election agents and party representative attended the meeting held in the presence of one general observer and two expenditure observers deputed by the Election Commission of India, he said.
Patton informed that the meeting deliberated on the peaceful conduct of the polls while also requesting the candidates and political parties to strictly adhere to the model code of conduct, which has been in force since the announcement of the polls on April 26 last. (Page News Service)