Nagaland’s regional party, Naga People’s Front (NPF) has disclosed their plans of keeping doors open for any post-poll alliance, for which they are working towards building understanding with all political parties.
Speaking at an interview for a local media outlet, NPF legislature, Azo Neinu, said that the party has formulated a policy/strategy called “Pre-poll understanding for Post-poll alliance”. He also dismissed speculations of an alliance between NPF and Congress in the forthcoming election by reiterating that NPF will pursue “Pre-poll understanding for post-poll alliance”. Azo said this was also shared by party president Shurhozelie Liezietsu when Congress leaders visited him recently.
In response to Congress's call for like-minded and secular parties to form a secular alliance, Azo stated that in the context of Nagaland, because Naga political issues were more important, the NPF was willing to form an alliance with any political party in the interest of Nagas.
He also stated that the NPF, NDPP, and BJP had formed the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in the larger interest of the Naga political issue. "The pressing demand for a solution to the Naga political issue may grow stronger after 2023, and thus we cannot rule out another all-party government (after the election")," he said. Azo, on the other hand, stated that an all-party government would not be formed if it did not serve the interests of Nagas.
When asked if the NPF would contest all 60 assembly seats, he stated that the party was considering contesting no more than 30 seats, but that seat allocation and ticket distribution would be decided by party leaders and legislators.
He also stated that the NPF was looking for new faces and youth leaders, as well as qualified and winnable candidates.
Concerning female candidates, Azo lamented that no woman aspirant had approached the party for a ticket so far.
Azo stated that holding elections was a constitutional requirement and a democratic process, and that now that the election schedule has been announced, the debate over whether Naga political solutions should come first or elections should come to an end.
When asked if the newly elected members of the 14th Assembly would resign in the event a solution was found, Azo said that this was a decision that the lawmakers should make collectively. He suggested that they get together to talk about the situation and make a decision as a group.
He also stated that he was prepared to resign from his position as a lawmaker if it served the interests of the Nagas.
Azo added that Naga national workers should call for cooperation between all political parties to find a solution.
He mentioned the recent settlement between NSCN (I-M) and WC, NNPGs, saying that it was a sign of hope for Nagas and evidence that a political settlement was possible.
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