Manipur polls: Ruling coalition partner NPF launches ‘Campaign kick-off 2022’
Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio came to Senapati on the invitation of Naga People’s Front, which was launching its campaign in the district for the Manipur elections
SENAPATI: The Naga People’s Front (NPF), an ally of the ruling BJP-led coalition government in Manipur on Wednesday started its ‘Campaign kick-off 2022’ in the presence of Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio at Senapati district headquarters, 60km north of Imphal.
Speaking at the event, the Nagaland chief minister who was in the Manipur hill town on the invitation of NPF, said, “We’ve come here to show our solidarity with you because today’s election means a lot to the regional party, the mass movement party for the Naga cause.”
Urging people to support the NPF candidates, Rio said that all candidates in the elections may be very good but Nagas have an issue. “So you must make some sacrifices and vote for NPF candidates,” he said.
Rio said people are preparing for the Nagaland elections early next year but for him, “my priority number one is Naga political issue”.
He referred to the recent Oting tragedy in which 14 innocent people died and added that the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) was imposed in the state in 1958 when the Naga insurgency was at its peak.
Former Nagaland chief minister and NPF legislature party leader TR Zeliang, who is the chairman of United Democratic Alliance, also spoke at the event which was also attended by many lawmakers, ministers, and advisors from Nagaland.
The NPF is fielding 10 candidates including four sitting legislators Awangbow Newmai (Tamei), Khashim Vashum (Chingai), K Leishiyo (Phungyar) and Losii Dikho (Mao) in the Manipur assembly elections scheduled for February 28 and March 5.
The other six NPF candidates are Langhu Paulhring Anal (Chandel), D Korungthang Maring (Tengnoupal), Ram Muivah (Ukhrul), Khoho Siile Anthony (Karong), Francis Ngajokpa (Tadubi)and Khangthuanang Panmei (Tamenglong).
In 2017, the BJP emerged as the second-largest party with 21 seats in the 60-member assembly, but formed the government with the support of 4 MLAs each from NPF, National People’s Party and others. The Congress was the single largest party with 28 seats.