Dimapur, May 1 (EMN): Several Naga People’s Front (NPF) Central office bearers have expressed discontentment and shock over the party leadership’s decision to disqualify the seven NPF legislators, who openly supported NDPP candidate in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, and have appeal to the party to rescind the suspension order.

The NPF functionaries, who have appealed to the party leadership to revoke the disqualification petitions filed with the Speaker, are S Akang (Gen. Secy, NPF Central), Nokshom (Secretary NPF Central), Bendang Chang (secy NPF Central), Honpha (Gen. Secy. Youth Wing NPF Central), Kupwang (Gen. Secy. Youth Wing NPF Central), Yongwem (CEC member), Shanyei (CEC member), and Manlem (CEC member).

“To our understanding, the decision of the 7 MLAs would amount to open rebellion against the party if the NPF had set up a candidate. But in the absence of the NPF’s candidate in the Lok Sabha election, and given the fact that the NPF has inexplicably decided to support the Congress candidate, we are perplexed that the NPF has taken such a drastic decision against them,” read the joint statement by the eight NPF functionaries.

“These 7 MLAs have been condemned because they supported the NDPP/PDA candidate, but at least, they maintained regionalism rather than resort to double standards. Can the same be said of the NPF leadership itself who declared that he had voted for the Congress candidate? Hasn’t the NPF leadership betrayed the very principle of the regional party whose party whose tradition and existence has transcended generations of the Naga people?” they asked.

The NPF Central members also stated that “the rhetoric of the NPF during election campaigns that the BJP is communal and anti- minority is least convincing” considering the fact that it allied with the same party for several years in the past. “Also, if the BJP acts according to minoritarianism in Nagaland it should also be considered like-wise in Manipur where the four NPF MLAs are part of BJP-led Government. Or is the NPF leadership contemplating to file disqualification cases against its MLAs in Manipur for joining the BJP-led Government?” they asked.

“What isn’t exactly crystal clear to us is how the 7 MLAs have “voluntarily given up membership of the party” when they have not joined any other political party or have gone against any whip issued by the party. Going against a bad and senseless decision of the party in no way can be construed as defying party whip. Or is it that there is no longer democracy within the NPF party? Will voices of dissent be considered henceforth as wilfully giving up membership of the NPF? Indeed, for those of us who have toiled lifelong for the growth and prosperity of the regional party in Nagaland, our worst fear appears to be staring at us as dictatorship and rule by a coterie of selected few seem to be running the affairs of the NPF!” added the statement.

The NPF on April 24 filed disqualification petition against its seven MLAs – EE Pangteang, Eshak Konyak, Kejong Chang, BS Nganlang, Toyang Chang, N Thongwang Konyak, and CL John – accusing them of “wilfully defying the party’s collection decision to support the Congress party” in the Parliamentary election 2019.



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