Why is Joel Naga Nagaland's only RPP candidate for 2023 polls?
Lone RPP candidate Joel Naga

Kohima: Nagaland’s newest homegrown political party – Rising People’s Party (RPP) – which was recognized by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in 2021 is set to make its debut in the state electoral politics, but with just one candidate bold enough to fight for a seat in the 60-seat state Assembly.

The party’s chief, Joel Naga, is among 183 candidates contesting the February 27 State Assembly election in the poll-bound state of Nagaland. 

Speaking to EastMojo, the anti-corruption crusader turned politician shared his thoughts on the tension that is building up as the poll date draws nearer and why his party has fielded only one candidate.

“It’s all about money politics and that was one reason why potential candidates – both men and women – were discouraged to join the party. No one approached the party,” he said. 

After its formation, the RPP entered the political arena in the state and made a significant impact by calling on government machinery to address developmental lapses across the state. However, after a year of actively fighting against corruption, the party went quiet before the state polls.

“Nothing went wrong. Our primary goal was to win the election. We did what we could for one and a half years, so it was time to put our concentration on winning the election, which is why the whole party machinery geared and brought its focus to the Tseminyu district,” he revealed. 

Joel, a first-time candidate, will contest for the 12-Tseminyu Assembly Constituency against four other candidates from the new district, including sitting MLA R Khing (NDPP), Loguseng Semp (RPI-A), Levi Rengma (LJP-RV), and Jwenga Seb (JD-U).

He observed that the people of the district have high expectations because there is a dire need to bring about developmental activities in many aspects.

He said that the party has been clear from the start that it would not enter into a pre-poll alliance and that it was not a “B” team for any other party.

Now that it is a different district, people have high expectations in terms of development in many aspects. This is a crucial time for the people to elect the right person to power. Joel said that the party is guided by the principles of governance and accountability.

As the party is bound by its ideology, he said that the RPP would remain the same even if voted to power or not. He also revealed that besides the resources he accumulated, the party was funded by common people who contributed essential commodities and monetary donations.

Also Read | A ‘king’, a minister and an engineer fight to win Nagaland’s ‘Tizit’

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