DIMAPUR, May 16 - The Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) today kicked off its campaign for the upcoming by-election to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland, in Kohima. The by-poll will be held on May 28 and the counting will take place on May 31.
The NPF has put up former Parliamentary Secretary C Apok Jamir as its candidate against the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) candidate, Tokheho Yepthomi. The PDA launched its campaign here on Tuesday.
Speaking at the campaign launch, Apok said the NPF wanted the Naga people to realise the danger of invasion of their culture and Christian faith by outside forces.
“We believe every believer in Nagaland can understand this simple logic,” he stressed. He said it is in the interest of the Naga people and has nothing to do against anybody or any religion. “We have the Constitutional right to protect our own properties,” Apok added.
The former Rajya Sabha member said he took up this daunting responsibility as he believed that his party can deliver and realise the aspirations of the people of Nagaland.
Having served as a member of the Rajya Sabha earlier, Apok said that he was not new to the affairs of Parliament.
In his address, Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister TR Zeliang stated that the by-poll would take another huge toll on the State’s exchequer as elections in Nagaland are costly affairs. With the State Assembly election which was conducted two months ago, he felt that the election would affect the political parties, candidates and eventually the State’s economy, besides consuming the time and energy of the people.
Zeliang blamed Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for conduct of the by-election which has been necessitated as the latter resigned from the Lok Sabha in February to contest the State Assembly election.
Former Chief Minister Shürhozelie Liezietsu said the NPF has invited all secular forces to come together to fight against “communal forces” and uphold Article 25 of the Constitution which deals with the Right to Freedom of Religion.