Pungro-Kiphire headed for ‘friendly’ contest between PDA coalition partners NDPP & BJP

Morung Express News
Dimapur | October 10

The bye-election to the vacant 60 Pungro-Kiphire Assembly Constituency, scheduled on November 3, is likely headed for a two-way contest between PDA coalition partners— NDPP and BJP. 

According to informed sources, it would be the NDPP and BJP locking horns with the main opposition NPF still to sound the bugle. 

“Since PDA could not come to a conclusive decision (for fielding candidates) in the Pungro-Kiphire AC, despite several rounds of talk, there is likely to be a friendly contest between the BJP and NDPP,” said a PDA coalition insider. 

The seat-sharing arrangement of the 2018 elections has turned out to be a bone of contention between the NDPP and BJP that has the two coalition partners vying for the seat. 

As far as the BJP was concerned, it should be given the ticket as per the 2018 seat-sharing arrangement. “The BJP’s stand is that, in 2018, Pungro-Kiphire AC was represented (contested) by them and should continue so as per the seat sharing formula of the PDA, even though they failed to win,” said the source. 

However, according to the source, the NDPP wants to contest in Pungro-Kiphire this time since it wants a foothold in Kiphire district. “The NDPP’s stand is that it should be given the chance to regain the seat the BJP could not win in 2018.”

As per the 2018 seat-sharing arrangement, the BJP contested from 60 Pungro-Kiphire against eventual winner— NPF’s the late Torechu. 

Initially, as many as 8 contenders were said to have vied for contesting the bye-election in Pungro-Kiphire. The source informed that the field narrowed down to 4, who were said to be playing with “both feet on each (BJP and NDPP) side (for the ticket).” 

In 14 Southern Angami I AC, vacant following the demise of the NDPP’s Vikho-o Yhoshü, there were said to be atleast 4 candidates vying for the NDPP ticket. As per the 2018 seat-sharing arrangement, this seat was contested by the NDPP’s Yhoshü.