Kohima: The Nagaland Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday handed over the party ticket to 43-year-old Lirimong Sangtam, the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) common consensus candidate for the upcoming bye-election to the 60 Pungro-Kiphire Assembly constituency.
During a ceremony held at the BJP head office in Kohima, State party president Temjen Imna Along said that the party received nine applicants to contest in the assembly seat. After scrutiny, three applicants were selected and the names were recommended to the central party, following which Lirimong Sangtam was selected to contest on behalf of the party.
Saying that the NDPP party has shown a “magnanimous attitude” even despite its “genuine” need to file a candidate from its party, Along thanked the chief minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio for robustly leading the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA)–an alliance of the NDPP and BJP.
2 years, 7 months and 18 days on, Along said that the PDA alliance is surging stronger. He assured the NDPP of its support in the electioneering, and further said that the BJP will continue to stand and abide by the spirit of the PDA alliance.
Intending candidate Lirimong Sangtam thanked the PDA government for putting its faith on him. Saying that he will leave “no stone unturned” in his efforts, he promised to regard the principles of the party and to honour the PDA alliance.
With Lirimong Sangtam as the PDA’s consensus candidate, NDPP Secretary-general Abu Metha while addressing the gathering assured the party’s “full-fledged support” to the BJP during the upcoming bye-election.
As a pre-poll alliance between the two parties, Metha said that it is for the first time in the history of the state that a seat-sharing formula has been followed by the present government, further expressing hope to continue the bond as “one”.
Metha requested both parties to increase and improve the coordination between the two, as it represents the voice of the people and have the mandate of the public.
He also called on the BJP leaders of the state to be “the voice of Nagas in Delhi” and impress upon the government of India to expedite the peace process and to bring about an early solution for the Nagas.
National BJP spokesperson and adviser IT, science and technology, NRE, Mmhonlumo Kikon said that Kiphire being an aspirational district will benefit from another BJP legislator.
Envisioning an improvement in various sectors of the human development aspect in the district, Kikon said “This will enable us to realize the fullest potential of the district”.
Kikon also said that Lirimong Sangtam represents the youth of state. He went on to say that the party favours young leaders and have the highest percentage of the youngest legislators in the state, further expressing his desire to add one more to the tally.
Kashiho Sangtam, minister of soil & water conservation, geology & mining and minister in-charge of Kiphire district said that if the party does not win in the upcoming bye-election, it will be a “big humiliation”. Giving all praises to the consensus candidate of the PDA government, he urged the party workers and the PDA partners for assistance and support during the bye-election.
Meanwhile, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on Tuesday had announced Khaseo Anar, president of District Congress Committee, Kiphire as the party’s candidate for the bye-election to 60 Pungro-Kiphire Assembly Constituency.
As part of the seat-sharing strategy of the PDA government, Rio led NDPP party will be filing a candidate to the 14-Southern Angami-1 Assembly constituency. The name of the candidate has, however, not being disclosed.
The polling for bye-election to the two Assembly constituencies in Nagaland will be held on November 3. The seats were left vacant after the demise of the sitting Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Vikho-o Yhoshu and T Torechu.
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