KOHIMA: The Congress has joined hands with Naga People's Front (NPF) to put up a joint fight against the ruling People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) in the May 28 bypoll to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland.
The bypoll was necessitated after Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio, who is now the chief minister, resigned as a Lok Sabha member on February 16.
The PDA, which has the NDPP and the BJP as it major constituents, has fielded former minister Tokheho Yepthomi from the seat. The Congress, on the other hand, vowed to back NPF candidate C Apok Jamir.
Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) President K Therie, during a programme at Pfutsero in Phek district yesterday, said his party has full faith in Jamir.
"As our primary concern is to save Nagaland from communal forces, we agreed in principle to support Apok Jamir in this 2018 Lok Sabha by-election. We hope he will live up to the expectations of the party and uphold the principles of secularism and liberal democracy," Therie, who shared a dais with a host of NPF leaders, said.
Terming the BJP-NDPP alliance as "unholy marriage, Therie also said that "fanaticism is at its peak" in India and and "cows are placed above humans."
"All secular-minded political parties must join hands to defeat those who try to impose Hinduism. The BJP is confusing the mindsets of the youngsters with their Hindutva policies," he said.
The Congress is a party that "upholds secularism and democratic norms and is strictly against the policies of the BJP's Uniform Civil Code, he asserted.
"Nagas should not take the BJP and its alliance partners lightly. It could lead to serious ramifications on the Naga society in particular and the whole nation in general in the coming years," the NPCC president iterated.
Jamir, who was also present at the programme, appealed to the electorates to vote for him in the bypoll.
"Your one precious vote will determine our future, that one vote to show that we are all Nagas" he added.
Reacting to Therie's allegations, BJP spokesperson K James Vizo today said the Congress is leveling charges on the saffron party "out of desperation".
"It is a known fact that the Congress has been facing defeat everywhere. The people are rejecting Congress because it failed to deliver on all fronts. The party does not have any agenda of their own and that is why it is attacking the BJP," Vizo added.