PDA partners assert margin of victory will indicate level of people’s trust in candidates
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, March 14: Declaring its card—at least officially—for the upcoming parliamentary elections and Aonglenden by-election, the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) on Thursday handed out the tickets to their consensus candidates during a ceremony at the NDPP headquarters in Chumukedima.
The candidates are Tokheho Yepthomi, for the parliamentary elections and Sharingain Longkumer for the seat of 26th Aonglenden assembly constituency, left vacant after the death of Imtikumzuk last year.
The chief minister of Nagaland, Neiphui Rio who was also present at the ceremony, appreciated the “solidarity” shown to the PDA. He reminded the two candidates that it was not just about winning but reflecting their commitment through the margin of their wins.
“How much work you have done will show on the counting day,” said Rio. He further encouraged Yepthomi and Longkumer to concentrate more on their respective constituencies first.
“I believe that everyone is working tirelessly and with unity,” he said adding that a state-level coordination committee will be present at all polling stations till the last vote is cast.
Deputy CM, Y Patton assured that the BJP will help the PDA achieve a “thumping victory.” Echoing Rio’s assertion, Patton encouraged the candidates to win with a vast margin and concentrate on one’s constituency.
Minister of Technical and Higher Education and co-chairman of PDA, Temjen Imna Along acknowledged that it was the first time all ministers, party workers and candidates were sitting together; and appreciated the unity.
“As we all come from different parties, we might have our differences but through this alliance the candidates can achieve the mandate of God and the mandate of the people of Nagaland,” said Along.
Advisor to Industries and Commerce and NIDC, Imnatiba, said that the PDA is stable. “The people of Nagaland especially the youth is tired of instability; and hope for development and strong leadership,” Imnatiba stressed.
According to him, there were four young legislators from the district of Mokokchung. This, he said, was something the youth should be happy about; and appreciate the chief minister for.
Chingwang Konyak, the president NDPP and chairman PDA, was grateful to PDA partners for their support; but reminded them not to be ‘overconfident.’ “I request all not to be complacent in nature and work hard with unity till the last vote has been cast,” encouraged Konyak and appealed to other regional parties to work cohesively with the PDA.
The general secretary of the JDU, Khetoho Rotokha expressed unwavering support to the candidates. He also appealed to the ruling government to give equal treatment to PDA partners.
Both candidates also gave brief speeches and thanked the PDA government for their support. “Change is what the younger generation is discussing around every corner and the NDPP stands for change,” said Longkumer.
Yepthomi also recalled his time as a lone member of parliament in the previous years and expressed a few struggles he faced being during the time.
To fulfil ‘vision’, lawyer turns to politics
Sharingain Longkumer, the PDA’s consensus candidate for the 26th Aonglenden by-election interacted with media persons during a press conference on March 14. With a law degree under his belt, Longkumer hoped that his legal background will be of help during his maiden political venture.
When asked about his plans for the people of Nagaland, Longkumer said that there was a need to empower the youth, women; and also work towards sustainable development.
“Main thing for me right now is to build a new vision,” said Longkumer. He hoped that through this platform, he might be able to empower women and the youth through skill development and training.
Longkumer shared that every citizen must contribute to the society as per to their capabilities. “Change is badly needed and everyone needs to take part and contribute their time and voluntary work for change to happen,” said Longkumer adding that one must identify where change is needed and involve oneself in that area.
The 26th Aonglenden Constituency is one of the most prominent among the assembly constituencies in Nagaland with 12132 electors. The seat was represented by many prominent figures including Dr. SC Jamir, late Nungshizenba Longkumer who also is the father of current PDA candidate Sharingain Longkumer.