‘Heavy hearted’ Congress rues ‘forced’ elections in Nagaland
Dimapur, Feb. 7 (EMN): A team of election observers appointed by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) arrived in Dimapur in Nagaland on Feb. 7. led by the party’s chief observer for the state, Nabam Tuki, who is a former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Others in the team included Pradyut Bordoloi, former minister of Assam; Gaurav Gogoi, Lok Sabha MP and AICC spokesperson; and Dr. K Jayakumar, the AICC’s secretary in-charge of Nagaland.
Addressing a press conference at Hotel Saramati in Dimapur, Jayakumar said that the purpose of the visit was to explain the position of the Congress and their ‘last-ditch decision’ to contest the Nagaland assembly elections. The reason, he said, was because ‘election was forced on us.’ Senior Congress member I Imkong was also present at the press conference.
According to Jayakumar, the state’s assembly election was a total violation of what was decided on Jan. 29 and ‘an unfortunate situation.’ “Our party representative was the first to sign and support solution before election and it was only last night that the party announced the candidates,” he maintained.
Jayakumar asserted that the party was contesting with ‘a heavy heart and unprepared situation.’ He has appealed to the people to ‘think and elect’ while assuring that the party will provide good governance.
Chief election observer for Nagaland Tuki lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government for depriving the Northeast region of funds and cutting all resources and major policies initiated by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. “There is no reason we should support such party who have curtailed our rights and betrayed Northeast of our rights,” said Tuki in denouncement.
Also, Bordoloi was critical of the regional party leaning with the BJP and remarked that it was only to capture power. “The DNA of northeast cannot gel with RSS,” maintained Bordoloi while adding that the people of Nagaland should ‘defeat the hidden agenda of BJP-RSS.’
Gogoi said that the BJP was manipulating democratic values. “We do not want saffronisation of Nagaland. We want our culture and diversity to prosper,” he said. Through this election, Gogoi said, the party wants to protect the unique identity of Nagaland.
The party affirmed that there was a probability of post-alliance arrangements but denied any sort of alliance with the Naga People’s Front.