Kohima: The BJP on Saturday released its list of 20 candidates for the February 27 Nagaland Assembly polls even as some of its state-level leaders wrote to party chief Amit Shah, expressing resentment against the pre-poll alliance with the newly-floated NDPP.
The BJP became the first political party to release its candidates’ list for the Nagaland polls, while the regional parties, tribal groups and civil society organisations in the state are demanding a solution to the vexed Naga political issue before the election.
The list features the names of candidates for 10 districts. State capital Kohima and the Peren district have been left out and it does not feature the name of state BJP chief Visasolie Lhoungu, who was among the signatories to the letter written by the state leaders to Shah.
The letter, also signed by the party’s state unit general secretary Eduzu Theluo among others, was sent to Shah on Friday night, soon after the pre-poll alliance between the BJP and the Nationalist Democratic People’s Party (NDPP), led by former chief minister Neiphiu Rio, was signed in Delhi.
The letter, which was made available to the media on Saturday, said the alliance had “no roots at the grassroot level”. It added that the 20:40 seat-sharing pact between the BJP and the NDPP for the 60-member Assembly was not justified since it was the NDPP which had approached the saffron party for the alliance.
“The Nagaland BJP has about 45 potential intending candidates seeking party tickets,” the letter said, adding that the prospect of the saffron party was gaining momentum in the north-eastern state with every passing day.
“We are confident of achieving a resounding success across the state, much better than the NDPP…In this context, it is very likely that if the seat-sharing agreement is taken up officially, it will have a highly negative impact on the current status of the party in Nagaland,” it said.
Moreover, the supporters of the intending BJP candidates might withdraw their allegiance if only 20 seats were allotted to the saffron party, the letter said, while expressing confidence that if it fought the polls on its own, there was more scope for the legislators of other parties to join it. “Taking this into consideration, the Nagaland BJP cannot accept a pre-poll alliance with any party.
“We have, therefore, decided to fight the upcoming Assembly election without any pre-poll alliance and may opt for a post-poll alliance, based on necessity. This decision has been taken after thorough discussions and in consultation with the district units and morchas of the party,” the letter said.
Sources in the Nagaland BJP said similar letters would be submitted to the central leadership by the presidents of the 11 district units of the party and its frontal organisations in the north-eastern state.