The Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Sunday announced the names of six more candidates for the February 27 elections to the 60-member Nagaland Assembly.
With the nomination of six more candidates, the party has so far fielded 22 contestants, and more candidates are likely to be declared on Monday, a party leader said.
NPF President Shurhozelie Liezietsu said that the party would not field candidates in all the 60 seats.
“Many leaders are seeking party tickets to contest the elections, but winnability is the main criterion for selecting the candidates. The best ones would be fielded,” Liezietsu said.
NPF legislature party leader Kuzholuzo Nienu said that the Nagas were victims of dirty politics now with money being the deciding factor.
With 26 seats, the NPF had emerged as the single largest party in the 2018 elections, but the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the BJP managed to form a coalition government with the support of other parties and an Independent candidate.
The NDPP last time won 18 seats while the BJP got 12 seats and the National People’s Party won two seats.
The Janata Dal (United) bagged one seat and one seat was secured by an independent candidate.
The NPF had suffered a severe jolt in April last year when 21 of the 26 NPF legislators led by former Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang had “merged” themselves with the NDPP and formed the all-party United Democratic Alliance (UDA) government to expedite the Naga political dialogue with the Central government.
The NDPP and the BJP had contested the 2018 elections with a 40:20 seat-sharing formula and the alliance partners in July last year have decided to continue with the same understanding.
This time, Zeliang is contesting as the NDPP nominee from Peren constituency.
The Congress, which has no MLA in the assembly, has also so far announced 25 candidates, fielding its state unit president K. Therie from Dimapur-I.
The Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) also announced the names of 19 candidates for the Nagaland Assembly election.
The LJP (Ram Vilas) is contesting the Nagaland Assembly election for the first time.
Elections to the 60-member Nagaland Assembly is scheduled to be held on February 27 and the last date for filing nominations is February 7.
The votes will be counted on March 2.