Staring at hung verdict, parties go out hunting IND candidates

Staring at hung verdict, parties go out hunting IND candidates
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Dimapur/Kohima, March 2: At least 6 presumed “winning candidates” of allies and Independent have been lodged in highly guarded locations in the State capital by the ruling NPF ahead of the declaration of assembly elections result on Saturday to ensure their support in the formation of an NPF-led alliance Government in Nagaland.
The NDPP-BJP alliance is also going all out bring “winnable” Independent candidates into their fold, as well as making overtures to candidates of alliance partners of the ruling NPF.
The activities of the two major parties, NPF and NDPP, ahead of the counting of votes on Saturday is in indication that they are expecting a hung verdict despite their respective public posturing of winning absolute majority.
According to sources, the NPF made a head start over its rival NDPP in rounding up Independent candidates, with the latest report putting the party of having garnered support of at least 8 Independent candidates out of the 11 in fray in the general elections.
Sources said the NDPP had dispatched 8-10 people to Mokokchung and Tuensang to lure Independent candidates as well as allies of the NPF to their fold, but by that time the NPF had already got them under their care in Kohima.
Sources said the NDPP-BJP alliance is not only targeting the Independent candidates but candidates of NPP and JD-U, both in alliance with the NPF in Nagaland, but whose parties are in the BJP-led NDA alliance at the Centre.
NPF sources admitted that they are not taking any chances, and candidates of its allies are being kept together in all comfort under guards in Kohima to prevent poaching by the NDPP-BJP alliance.
The latest trend of grabbing Independent candidates and those from other parties before declaration of result is a huge departure from the past, when only winning candidates were “kidnapped/taken into protection” while returning to the State capital from their constituency.
In 2008 elections, the then Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio had managed to grab seven winning Independent candidates only after declaration of the result to form the NPF-led DAN government for the second consecutive term. But this time the move has started ahead of the counting.
The NPF, which has fielded 58 candidates, has entered into alliance agreement with National Peoples’ Party (NPP) contesting in 25 seats and JD(U) contesting in 13 seats.
NPF sources confirmed that they have managed to take in at least eight out of the 11 Independent candidates into their fold and that they have agreed to extent full support in forming the government. They are camped together, which would continue till the formation of the government, sources said.
NDPP-BJP had contested the elections on 40:20 seat sharing policy. It has also managed to get hold of some of the Independent candidates, sources said.
(Page News Service)