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Shadow boxing: Election season in Nagaland

Nagaland News

Ms Hekani’s entry to spring surprise in Dimapur III

Nirendra Dev
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 8: There is a vicious cycle and it’s also diabolic in substance in some matters.
There is a shadow boxing on multiple fronts. When it comes to confused and chaotic games but hopes of a great revival ~ it’s not the ruling NDPP but the NPF that steals all the limelight.
“We are equidistant or equi close to all parties”, says NPF floor leader in the Assembly Küzholüzo Nienü Azo.
The statement is candid and frank. It sums the political paradox and highlights the complexities the NPF is in.
Dimapur III: Strategic warfare
Chief Minister Rio has announced that Azheto Zhimomi, the sitting legislator, will be NDPP nominee. In 2008, Rio’s present blue-eyed boy, V Abu Metha was humbled having polled only 2,784 votes as against 7,874 by Azheto. So the fresh speculation is all that is glitters may not be gold for Azheto. The talk of the town is Hekani Jakhalu Kense, whom Wikipedia calls a social entrepreneur. Kense is an Angami surname and this links her to Touphema village. She is also a sister of well known Air Force officer.
Even shopkeepers in Dimapur III are aware of some socio-political stories. One of them said, “Hekani’s husband is a Rio associate turned first class contractor registered during NPF regime under Rio.”
So, Azheto has to chalk out a foolproof election strategy.
Another element of shadow-boxing in this constituency is the fact that Lok Sabha MP, Tokheho Yepthomi once represented this seat. He is also an old war horse, and knows the art of politics.
Lately, a video has gone viral wherein Ms Hekani says, “Dimapur is mini-Nagaland”. And she has donated Rs 15 lakh ~ including Rs 10 lakh for East Dimpaur GD Corpus Funds.
Central Nagaland:
For all practical purpose, the NPF’s existential crisis is ‘home-made’ byproduct. Neiphiu Rio and TR Zeliang came from Congress ~ NPF ruled in Nagaland for years ~ and the rest is history. Throw up these questions, veteran regionalist Shurhozelie smiles and says mildly, “We will wake up on time.”
Is Shurhozelie’s lieitenant Azo on the same page with him? Of course Azo has been trying to work hard and traveling different parts of the State. Who will finally control the show in the regional outfit, NPF chief Shurhozelie or Azo?
What will veteran like Thenucho, a former Speaker (during 1990s) and former Home Minister under Neiphiu Rio do?
Many say Azo is being practical and would prefer future tie-up with anybody who would need his party NPF.
The shadow boxing is on when the Central Government is truly keen to establish a good tie-up with its regional partner NDPP led by Neiphiu Rio.
Next round of ‘shadow fight’ is between pro-Rio forces and his detractors.
There are all kinds of games against this backdrop. Despite high command’s clear backing of the 20: 40 basis of NDPP-BJP alliance, a large number of Lotus party workers and leaders believe even in 2023 the saffron outfit will put up a “better show and better strike rate” than NDPP (18/40 vis-à-vis 12/20 seats win in 2018).
But Rio’s shadow boxing does not end here.
A former police officer taking keen interest in politics says, “CM Rio has a bigger challenge to handle his friends such as a few sitting MLAs from central Nagaland and then there are likes of Hukhavi and Apok Jamir who in the name of Like-Minded Leaders’Forum want to change the entire plot.”
Four important leaders behind Central Nagaland politics are Y Patton, G Kaito, Imkong Imchen and Jacob Zhimomi.
Of course in all these, SC Jamir remains the senior colleague to all central Nagaland leaders, NDPP workers and leaders such as Rio himself. Likes of Chingwang, TR Zeliang and Rio have been his admirers, lieutenants and even political detractors.
The latent turf war is truly entering an interesting phase.
Will some senior netas favour President’s Rule at this juncture or an election?