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Cash crunch forces Congress to withdraw 5 candidates in Nagaland

Reports of the financial crisis had prompted questions about the role of Congress’ fund managers and the status of donations and funds from the party’s 10-year rule at the Centre and in many money-spinning states

india Updated: Feb 16, 2018 00:03 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nagakland assembly elections,Congress,Nagaland
The Congress has been out of power in Nagaland for the past 15 years with SC Jamir being its last chief minister from 1993 to 2003.(HT File Photo)

A severe fund shortage has forced the Congress to withdraw five candidates for the February 27 assembly elections in Nagaland, leaving 18 contestants from the party in the fray.

The party had on February 6 released a list of 23 candidates for the 60-member assembly but five contestants -- Limawati Jamir (Aonglenden), Hobeto Kiba (Zunheboto), Shami Angh (Longleng), Choakpa Konyak (Tobu) and Aimong Lam (Noklak) – later withdrew their papers.

“They did so due to lack of financial resources,” said a Congress leader familiar with the developments.

“There is a realisation in the Congress that noting much could be done and hence no point pumping resources. The general secretary in-charge of northeast, CP Joshi, seems to be least interested in the party’s affairs in the region,” said the leader who refused to be quoted.

“I think a party which is in opposition for 15 years cannot fight against a corrupt government without enough resources.”

Nagaland Congress president Kewe Khape Therie also confirmed that the “huge cash crunch” had forced the party to initially field candidates on 23 seats only.

“The AICC (All India Congress Committee) cannot fund us. This was conveyed to us by the general secretary (CP Joshi),” he said. “I think a party which is in opposition for 15 years cannot fight against a corrupt government without enough resources.”

The Congress has for long been cash-starved. Several Congress candidates had admitted to “severe fund crunch” during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The crisis reportedly continued through subsequent assembly elections in several states.

Reports of the financial crisis had prompted questions about the role of Congress’ fund managers and the status of donations and funds from the party’s 10-year rule at the Centre and in many money-spinning states.

They also claimed that the candidates withdrew their nomination due to “pressure” from their constituents and the insurgent groups.

“Some candidates were asked to withdraw by the villagers and one pulled out because of pressure from the insurgents. In Nagaland, a village plays an important role in elections and a candidate can’t go against the wishes of the villagers,” he said.

The Congress has been out of power in Nagaland for the past 15 years with SC Jamir being its last chief minister from 1993 to 2003.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 23:10 IST