Shürhozelie led NPF submits response to the Election Commission of India
Noke-led NPF to be given another week to file counter response
Kohima, February 16
The internal discord within the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) for recognition as the ‘original party’, which is lying in the court of the Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to prolong till next month with Shürhozelie-led NPF submitting their response petition in Delhi today, the last date for submitting the response to the Commission. Shürhozelie-led NPF secretary general K G Kenye talking to this correspondent over phone confirmed that a ten-member delegation including the president, five NPF central office bearers and four legislators, excluding Chief Minister TR Zeliang, went to submit the response petition to the ECI.
“As we have submitted the response to the ECI today, the dissident group (Noke-led NPF) would be given a week’s time to submit their response to our petition only after which the ECI would be taking the final decision on recognition under the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order 1968,” he said. Kenye expressed that the matter may prolong even upto next month while also revealing that the team along with TR Zeliang and Shurhozelie would returning home tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Noke Wangnao-led NPF secretary general Abu Metha confirming the rival camp’s submission to the ECI also expressed that the Commission would be granting a week’s time for Noke’s party to respond after which it would not be entertaining any more submissions.
Further, sources also revealed that officials from Noke-led NPF also today submitted their response to Dr. Shürhozelie’s letter dated January 14, wherein the latter had pleaded not to recognize the NPF party under the presidentship of Noke Wangnao.
It may also recalled that on January 12 last Noke-led NPF had declared that a Special Emergency General Meeting of the NPF was held at Chumukedima, Dimapur which was attended by 430 Members, which included 23 MLAs, 2 MPs, 8 NPF Division presidents and office bearers, 39 assembly constituency units Presidents, central office bearers and office bearers of fronts wings including youth and women wing. They had also announced election of new party president and office bearers of NPF, which was forwarded to the ECI. However, on January 14, Dr Shürhozelie had written to the ECI not recognize the list of NPF office bearers under Noke Wangnao. Subsequently, the ECI had also written to the Noke Wangnao to submit their response.
On the other hand, Noke Wangnao-led NPF on January 22 had submitted a petition to the ECI to recognize their group as the ‘original NPF Party’ under the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order 1968, following which the ECI had written to Shürhozelie to file the written response.
On both the matters, the ECI had fixed February 16 as the last date and interestingly both sides responded only today.
Noke led NPF appeals public for calm
With mounting speculation about the pronouncement of Election Commission of India to recognize either of two NPF factions as original, Noke led NPF has appealed today to the public to remain calm and to exercise patience.
It said the ECI will study the matter meticulously basing on precedence, the constitution and the various Supreme Court judgements and thereafter the judgement will be pronounced.
In order to clear the air and to allow the facts to float in the political atmosphere of the State, the statement said, “Since February 16, 2015 was the last day for Shurhozelie to reply to the ECI, Shurhozelie with full hesitation replied to the commission only in the last hour.”
Given the gravity of the issue, the Election Commission of India had sagaciously granted seven days to Noke to reply along with a copy of Shurhozelie’s rejoinder, the statement added.