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NPF not likely to contest LS election; to support secular candidate

NPF ticket
NPF candidates - Toshipokba and Dr Lorho Pfoze (both standing) pose for lens with NPF party leaders

Hands over tickets to Toshipokba for 26 Aonglenden and Dr Lorho Pfoze for Outer Manipur LS seat

Kohima, March 19: The 26-member Opposition Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF), which had ruled the state for 15 years and sent its MP to Parliament for three terms, is apparently not likely to contest for the lone Lok Sabha in Nagaland in the ensuing elections.
However, NPF today officially handed over the party ticket to former MLA Toshipokba Longkumer for the bye-poll to 26-Aonglenden Assembly segment in Nagaland and Dr Lorho S Pfoze for Outer Manipur State Lok Sabha seat.
NPF president, Dr Shurhozelie officially handed over the tickets to both of them at NPF central office here today and wished them “Best of Luck”.
Toshipokba is former MLA and has contested the elections in past and has the record of defeating the giant Congress politician and five-time Chief Minister S C Jamir in the 2011 bye-elections for the same constituency.
In the February 2018 State Assembly elections, Toshipokba was the NPF nominee for the same seat but lost to NDPP candidate Imtikumzuk Longkumer by 88 votes.
However, the by-election has been necessitated following the demise of Imtikumzuk in September last year.
NPF nominee for Outer Manipur parliamentary seat, Dr Lorho S Pfoze is a medicine practitioner.
On fielding candidate for lone Parliamentary seat in Nagaland, the NPF president said, “We have not announced anything yet for Nagaland Parliamentary seat. Some good candidates are on the card but we are examining how best we can work out to see that secular forces work together”.
In this, he said, “We have been looking forward to make some suitable adjustment with some like-minded party and we will declare our decision in a day or two”.
It may be recalled that Congress, which is fielding former Chief Minister K L Chishi, had claimed that other like-minded secular parties would support their candidate.
Calling upon the party rank and file to work hard and take their stand as real soldiers and fight the battle by looking forward to see better days ahead, Dr Liezietsu said, “Both the ensuing bye-election in Aonglenden A/C and the Lok Sabha elections in the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency are very crucial for us”.
Maintaining that the Northeast region have been confronted with some problem which poses great danger to the future generation of the region, he said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 last is to allow people of a certain community to avail the opportunity to become citizens of India by exempting certain acts and rules like Passport Act, 1920 and Foreigners Act, 1946.
The BJP government at the Centre, he said, is determined to pass this Act in spite of the fact that the whole North East is against it.
Expressing fear that the BJP government will not bother for the people of Northeast once they get the opportunity to pass this Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the NPF president called upon the gathering to “take precaution by way of defeating the forces which are determined to place our future into a situation which threatens our very existence.”
This Bill is a real threat to the existence of the people of the Northeast, he said, adding that “if we make a mistake here, posterity will not forgive us”.
Dr Liezietsu pointed that Nagaland government has already declared on the national screen that they would not go against the Bill but only when they saw the mood of the people, they took some steps to cover up the blunder they have committed.
For NPF, he said, “We have made our position very clear that we are deadly against it and the NPF Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha would go against it if the Bill comes up in the House”.
Stating that for the moment, it (CAB) is on hold, but if the communal forces return, they are determined to pass it, the NPF president called all to work hard so that they would play their part fairly and do justice to the future generation.
Meanwhile, the NPF president replying to queries from media persons on the 19 MLAs seeking coalition with NDPP, said, “the chapter is closed”.
26-Aonglenden very crucial and important for NPF: T R Zeliang
Leader of NPF Legislature Party in Nagaland, T R Zeliang in his address expressed confidence that the Party candidates would be victorious.
Maintaining that the 26-Aonglenden Assembly seat is very crucial and important for the NPF, he said, winning the seat would help the Party legislature to move closer to the magic figure in the State Assembly.
He therefore appealed the Party legislators and the rank and file to work hard to win the seat by being on our mark.
Currently NPF has 26 members in the House of 60.
Further, Zeliang also dismissed the allegations that there are differences within the 26 NPF legislators following the submission of a representation by 19 MLAs.
He clarified that the 19 NPF MLAs had written to him to explore the possibility of coalition with NDPP or any other party to form the next government.
He said, they took the step because the ruling NDPP had been approaching the NPF MLAs to resign and re-contest the bye-poll on NDPP ticket or to merge with it.
However, Zeliang said, since they rival party were making backdoor approach so the NPF legislators wanted to open the front door for them and have direct approach through the NPF Legislature Party.
Candidate Toshipokba expressed confidence to win the bye-election with the support of the leaders, legislators and all rank and file of the party.
Dr Pfoze in his speech said NPF was always considered to be working for disintegrating Manipur state but from since 2017 NPF has gained popularity and now people are accepting its existence for peoples welfare and even Meiteis are supporting the party.
Expressing confidence of winning the seat, he said “we will not be divisive but inclusive and work for the welfare of Nagas and tribal people in Manipur state”.
Rajya Sabha MP and NPF secretary general, K G Kenye and MLA Imkong L Imchen also exhorted the gathering.
Chaired by NPF working president Apong Pongener the ceremony commenced with MLA Chotisuh Sazo pronouncing invocation. Rev Khrutsoyi Luruo offered blessing upon the two candidates.
(Page News Service)