Unrest Clouds NPF’s Plan for Manipur Polls
Party to contest 15 seats but most top leaders of NPF are yet to hit the campaign trail
Guwahati: The ongoing political turmoil in Nagaland has marred Naga Peoples Front's (NPF) preparation for Manipur assembly polls. NPF, which is the Opposition party in Manipur has put up 15 candidates to contest Manipur polls. However, most of the top leaders of the party are yet to hit the campaign trail.
NPF, which made its electoral début in Manipur in 2012 assembly polls won four of the 12 seats it contested. NPF’s support base is mainly in the hills, which accounts for 20 seats. Though NPF and BJP are partners of ruling coalition in Nagaland both are contesting polls separately in Manipur. NPF president Shurhozelie Liezietsu told ET, “The ongoing crisis in Nagaland has created confusion. However, soon this confusion will be over and we will be concentrating on Manipur election. We are contesting 15 seats in Manipur. We are working out the strategy for Manipur our tally in Manipur will increase.” Political crisis triggered by opposition to 33% reservation of women in Urban local bodies (ULBs) resulted in tribal bodies seeking Chief Minister T R Zeliang’s resignation. Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC), which is spearheading movement against 33%reservation is insisting on Zeliang’s resignation .
There was large-scale arson in government properties in Kohima and two persons were killed in clashes with police. The government offices are non functional since January 28 and state is witnessing series of bandhs.
As an alternative, the MLAs of DAN coalition had backed Shürhozelie for the chief minister ship. However, former chief minister and Lok Sabha MP from NagalandNeiphiu Rio too has joined the race of chiefministership making the political scene further complicated. With creation of seven new districts in Manipur which has invited economic blockade from United Naga Council (UNC) in two highways since November 1 last year congress is expecting to gain some seats in hills. Congress stronghold in Manipur has remained confined to valley.
Political analysts opined that ongoing tussle of Nagaland will impact NPF’s performance for most of their leaders have given campaign a miss.