LS Polls: A straight fight for Nagaland?

Newmai News Network
Dimapur | March 9

Nagaland is scheduled to witness a straight fight between Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) and former Nagaland Minister, KV Pusa of the Congress party, in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. So far there have been no signs of any independent candidate contesting in the polls, leaving the NPF and the Congress party to vie for the lone Parliamentary seat of the state.

Both KV Pusa and Neiphiu Rio were senior Cabinet Ministers in the SC Jamir led Congress government in Nagaland. Pusa lost in the Nagaland assembly polls of 2013.

Meanwhile, the likely vote-planks for both the NPF and the Congress party are the Naga political issue, the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) issue (demand of a separate state), the economic development of rural Nagaland and peace in Nagaland.

Being from the party which is at the peak of its popularity in Nagaland, Rio is confident of harvesting votes through this perspective. NPF is in alliance with the BJP led NDA, and the latter coming to power in the centre would bode well for the current Chief Minister. In Nagaland, Rio is the consensus candidate of BJP, JD-U, NCP and the NPF.

For KV Pusa, he can take advantage in the ENPO areas, in the districts of Tuensang, Mon, Kiphire and Longleng. ENPO has been very vocal in accusing the Nagaland Government of not paying attention to these four Nagaland districts. The demand to create a separate state: ‘Frontier Nagaland,’ by carving out these four districts, has become very vocal under the regime of NPF, over the past few years.