Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Ticket distribution exercise painful: Rio


Amidst disgruntlement among a section of its members who were denied party tickets, NDPP formally distributed tickets to 40 of its members at a ceremony held at Capital Cultural Hall here on Friday. NDPP will contest 40 and its ally, the BJP 20 seats.
Speaking at the programme, chief minister Neiphiu Rio thanked party leaders, workers and supporters for reposing trust in him as their leader. He also thanked and acknowledged BJP for keeping the promise of seat sharing and renewing the same formula for the ensuing Assembly election as well.
He also admitted that no agreement could be finalised on Naga political issue despite all legislators of 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) coming together. Rio however said that all of them had played their role as a facilitator.
He attributed the failure to disunity among political groups, state leaders and citizens. He however expressed optimism that the dream of Nagas would be achieved soon with the coming together of the negotiating groups.
He said just as mentioned in the NDPP manifesto Naga political issue continued to remain a priority for NDPP and that it would pave the way for an alternate arrangement when an honourable and acceptable solution was reached.
Speaking of gender equality, Rio thanked the party for maintaining gender equality and helping uplift the women by giving opportunities to two women who had huge potential for winning by issuing them candidates.
He said ticket distribution exercise was painful because many aspirants could not be accommodated, but pointed out that the party only heeded to the voice of people at the grassroots.
In a lighter vein, he remarked that the “homecoming” of TN Manen was heart warming and thanked the party for considering his “homecoming”.
He also said NDPP ticket was given to sitting MLA Pukhayi from Aghunato Assembly constituency (AC), but he declined citing health issues. Pukhayi’s replacement had to be done at the last hour he said.
Rio welcomed all the first-timers to the party and exuded confidence to all would work together and serve the people well.
The chief minister mentioned that during the 13th NLA, six districts were created keeping in mind that Nagaland was a tribal State.
Meanwhile, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah scheduled to visit Nagaland, Rio said priority should be given to formulation of Common Minimum Programme. In this regard, he urged BJP to form a joint coordination committee at the district level and enable the two parties to maintain the alliance.
File nomination on Feb 6
Rio insisted that the candidates should file their nominations on February 6 and furnish information without error to ensure that their nominations were not rejected.
He thanked legislators of BJP and NDPP for their continuous support and exuded confidence to continue to be their leader and form the next government. He also wished the candidates success in the election.
BJP rubbishes rumours
Speaking at the programme, State BJP chief spokesperson Kuputo Shohe categorically stated that the NDPP-BJP alliance was intact and rubbished rumours that BJP would set up proxy candidates from NDA allies against NDPP.
He said this was deliberately spread to not only malign the good image of BJP but also jeopardise the NDPP-BJP coalition.
Shohe asserted that NDPP-BIP combine would get clear majority in the election and hence there was no need to flirt with other parties. He claimed that the understanding between the two parties had the consent of BJP central leaders.
In his address, UDA chairman TR Zeliang said he was pained to see many sitting MLAs not being not allotted NDPP ticket. He however pointed out that the tough decision was taken based on many factors, keeping in mind the interest of the party and hoped that the election results would validate the decision.
Recalling the formation of opposition-less UDA government in 2022 for an early solution, he stated that though the objective could not be reached as desired and committed to the people, the issue should remain the party’s priority.
He also appealed to stop using divisive terminology that was done by many to identify the erstwhile 21 NPF MLAs that merged with NDPP. He stressed that there should be no more “Rio’s MLAs” and “TR’s MLAs” in NDPP from this moment and the past should not be revived to sabotage the present arrangement.
“As we contest on NDPP tickets, everyone should feel and be made to feel a sense of ownership and belongingness to this party regardless of past events,” he emphasised.
With trust and respect for each other, he said he foresaw a thumping victory for both BJP and NDPP in this election.
Assembly speaker Sharingain Longkumer, minister G Kaito Aye and woman candidate from Dimapur III Hekani Jakhalu also spoke at the programme.
Oath-taking was administered by NDPP president Chingwang Konyak, while Rev Supong Jamir pronounced a dedicatory prayer for the candidates.
In his presidential address, NDPP president Chingwang Konyak stated that the party had received many applications, which were assessed based on the 2018 manifesto that talked of women and youth empowerment, resulting in allotment of two tickets to women, besides youth leaders.
He mentioned that elderly sitting MLAs were denied tickets and urged them not to feel disappointed but support the NDPP candidates and strengthen the party.
According to Chingwang, NDPP tickets were issued to candidates based on the criteria of “winnability”.
NDPP corrigendum
Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) president Chingwang Konyak has through a corrigendum stated that the official party candidate for 34 Aghunato Assembly Constituency is Ikuto Zhimomi and not as mentioned earlier.


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