BJP lists out for Naga, Meghalaya polls
In Nagaland, the party is contesting 20 of the 60 seats after keeping intact the pre-poll alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
Published: 03rd February 2023 07:53 AM | Last Updated: 03rd February 2023 01:20 PM | A+A A-
AGARTALA: The BJP on Thursday announced the names of its Nagaland and Meghalaya candidates for the February 27 Assembly elections. The party, which has two MLAs and is a constituent of the ruling coalition in Meghalaya, is contesting all 60 seats.
In Nagaland, the party is contesting 20 of the 60 seats after keeping intact the pre-poll alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). The NDPP will contest the remaining 40 seats.
The BJP and the NDPP were the two ruling parties. Last year, 21 of the Naga People’s Front’s (NPF) 26 MLAs, including former minister Imkong L Imchen, defected to the NDPP.
Subsequently, the NPF was accommodated in the government. Imchen resigned from the Assembly as well as the NDPP recently and joined the BJP. He is contesting from the Koridang seat in the Mokokchung district. The BJP lists have seven women candidates – six in Meghalaya and one in Nagaland. CA Sangma and Himalaya M Shangpliang are two of the turncoats on the BJP’s Meghalaya list.
The only surprise is the inclusion of former Meghalaya Speaker Martin M Danggo. The National People’s Party (NPP), which heads the state’s ruling coalition, had earlier named him as its Ranikor candidate.
Danggo, however, decided to side with the BJP after being “sidelined” in the NPP. As he was preparing for the polls, some leaders of the party allegedly “conspired” against him which prompted his supporters to pressure him to contest on a BJP’s ticket.
No parties have stitched a pre-poll alliance in the state. Normally, a lot of them, including regional parties, contest elections but they scarcely forge pre-poll alliances. Fractured mandates are common and so are coalition governments. MLAs Alexander Laloo Hek and Sanbor Shullai, party’s state vice-president Bernard N Marak are three prominent candidates.
Marak, who was arrested last year for allegedly running a sex racket from his Tura farmhouse and later granted bail, will be up against Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma of the NPP in the South Tura seat.
“Our list of candidates is a mix of experience and exuberance. We are optimistic about reaching the double-digit mark,” state BJP president Ernest Mawrie said. The BJP fielded 11 of its 12 MLAs in Nagaland after one opted out.
“I am confident that we will win more than 12 seats this time,” Nagaland BJP president and minister Temjen Imna Along said. The NDPP in Nagaland has denied the ticket to 15 of its MLAs. Last year, 21 of the 26 MLAs of Naga People’s Front (NPF), led by former Chief Minister TR Zeliang, had jumped ship to be with the NDPP. While Zeliang has been fielded, most others were ignored. The NDPP is contesting 40 seats and its ally BJP 20 as per their seat-sharing agreement. They, together with the NPF, rule the state. The NPF was accommodated in the government after the 21 MLAs’ defection.