Congress struggles to find candidates for Nagaland elections
A Congress leader attributed the “lack of enthusiasm” among workers to the “organisational weaknesses and shortage of resources”.Nagaland Election 2018 Updated: Feb 09, 2018 15:39 IST
The Congress is struggling to find candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in Nagaland and its hopes of a pre-poll alliance with the ruling Naga Peoples Front (NPF) were also dashed with the ruling party announcing its contestants for all 60 seats.
The last date of filing of nominations is Wednesday and polling will be held on February 27.
“We are not able to find candidates. As a result, we might fight on just 20-25 seats,” said a Congress functionary deputed to Nagaland to supervise the party’s preparations. He did not want to be named.
The Congress leader attributed the “lack of enthusiasm” among workers to the “organisational weaknesses and shortage of resources”.
The Congress has been out of power in Nagaland for the past 15 years.
SC Jamir, who was the last Congress chief minister, was at the helm from 1993 to 2003.
In the 2013 assembly elections, the Congress had won eight seats but over the past five years, all its candidates deserted the party and joined other political outfits.
The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), on the other hand, has already released a list of 20 candidates. The list was released soon after the party last week snapped its 15 year-old ties with the NPF and struck a seat-sharing agreement with the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDDP). The NDDP will contest on 40 seats.
The BJP was the first party to pull out of the 11-party joint declaration that no member will be fielded in polls until the central government resolved the decades-old Naga crisis.
The Congress then started back-channel talks with the NPF. It didn’t see much success as a confident ruling party decided to go it alone.
The Congress functionary also said the party had last week finalised 20 candidates out of which two later left the party.
“We will announce the list early morning on Wednesday after which our candidates will file the nomination papers,” he said.