Kohima | May 18
The Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF) on Thursday attempted to brush aside the suggested “threat” posed by the newly formed political party- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)—which has the presence of stalwart politicians and some prominent new faces, and said it was “hardly bothered and it barely threatens the NPF.”
“The NPF is less bothered by the formation of the new party; in fact, it has strengthened and consolidated the party because it has ‘filtered’ the party in its functioning, party system and even for the upcoming elections, Achumbemo Kikon, spokesperson for the NPF told media persons during a press conference held at Hotel Japfu in Kohima.
Citing the example of the AGP (Progressive) Party in Assam formed by a former Chief Minister which had lost in the previous elections, Kikon considered the newly formed party a coincidence in naming its party ‘Progressive,’ and said no aspiring candidate (s) would vie for this party’s ticket because “these are the bad omens that people have experienced using the term progressive.”
NPF Vice President, Zaku Tsiikrii said the people who organized the new party are “mostly desperadoes who have been trying to contest the election but could not get ticket.” He also claimed that majority of the members of DPP are not from NPF, and only two or three persons from NPF has joined the party.
Also clarifying on the repeated statements from the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) of NPF party being divided into NPF right and left, Kikon said there is “no such thing as NPF right or NPF left, there is only one NPF that is led by the President Dr Shurhozelie.”
“This statement by the NPCC is just a figment of imagination. It’s totally false. They have no issue to raise against NPF party or the present government; therefore they want to misdirect the common people,” the NPF spokesperson said.
On the prospect of BJP’s alliance the NPF in the next election, Kikon said the party is open to having alliances with like-minded parties. “We remain true to our alliances. We don’t backtrack to our commitment.”
Scheduling of by-election depends on the Cabinet
The NPF is also yet to decide on the dates for the by-election of Nagaland Chief Minister Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu. “We will go in accordance with the election norms. We will take the right decision at the right time. We are considering which way is the best,” Kikon said without going into details.
With the duration of the present NLA coming to end on March 13, 2018, the question of rescheduling the general election to an earlier date, according to Kikon, would depend on the situation in the country since some States have Assembly elections coming up by December end of 2017.
“Normally the Election Commission prefers to have election with as much States as they can organize so if options are given, we will see which way we should opt for. That option should be given to us. They can’t just impose on us,” the NPF spokesperson maintained.
He also mentioned that the Cabinet has not yet deliberated on the issue, adding the decision would depend on the Cabinet, who has the prerogative to recommend for early election.
NPF office issue
Fresh controversies had recently emerged over the proposal of the NPF office to be shifted to the Capital Convention Centre. Kikon attempted to clarify that the proposal was submitted with the idea that the Center, if shifted to the current NPF office near Hotel Japfu would be more lucrative since the location is better for commercial and business purposes.
“They will gain more benefits if shifted here,” claimed Kikon adding that the “present building of NPF is as good as the Capital convention Center building.” The government, however, is yet to decide, he said.