Kohima, Jan 31 (PTI) The Naga People's Front (NPF), one of the oldest regional parties in the state, will press for a solution of the vexed Naga Political Issue if it comes to power after the Assembly election and is ready for post-poll alliance.
The election to the 60-member Nagaland Assembly is scheduled for February 27.
NPF Legislature Party leader Kuzholuzo Nienu in an exclusive interview to PTI said that with no pre-poll alliance, the NPF is ready for a post-poll strategy with any political party to form the next government.
"We are ready to form or be a part of the government with any political party in the state, because post-election the demand for Naga political solution will be the pressing need," he said.
The NPF Central Executive Council (CEC), the highest decision making body of the party, has decided that NPF will be open for post-poll alliance with any political party, including NDPP and BJP to form the next government, he told PTI.
The NPF had ruled the state for three terms from 2003 to 2018. In the 2018 Assembly election, NPF had fielded candidates in 58 seats and won in 26 seats in the 60 member House. In September 2021, it joined the ruling NDPP and BJP to form the United Democratic Alliance, an all party government to press for an early solution to the Naga Issue.
However, in April 2022, its 21 legislators headed by former Chief Minister TR Zeliang merged with NDPP leaving behind four of them.
"The Government of India is not at all serious in solving the Naga Political Issue. We are not at all satisfied," he said, claiming that post election the NPF will press harder for solution to the vexed problem.
On the fielding of candidates for the ensuing election, the NPF leader claimed a large number of aspirants are coming forward seeking the party ticket.
"It has gone beyond our expectation but as a party we have to look into the financial aspects and during the party CEC meeting, we have decided to set up only winnable candidates. The list will be finalised within a day or two," he said.
Nienu, however, refrained from disclosing the probable number of candidates to be fielded by the party.
On the prime agenda of the party for the election campaign, he said in case NPF is part of any government, the priority will be enforcing the rule of law and minimising taxation and stopping extortion bids by different Naga groups.
Asked if the party has decided on the chief ministerial candidate, he said it will be decided only after filing of nomination of the party aspirants.
On the Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Organisation (ENPO) demand for separate statehood – Frontier Nagaland – alleging that the state government has been neglecting the area in all aspects, Nienu said development of a particular area fully depends on their own legislators. Every leader is responsible for his constituency, he said.
Despite the call for boycott by ENPO, he claimed that there are good numbers of aspirants seeking the NPF party ticket. "We have a good number of aspirants seeking our party ticket from the region and we are planning to field candidates there too," he said. PTI NBS RG