NEWDELHI: The stage has been set for the postponement of the Nagaland Assembly elections. Even as two major factions of the Nagaland Peoples Council led by former Supplies Minister K. Hollohon and former chief minister K.L. Chisi respectively clamor to be admitted to the Congress fold intense factional rivalries have broken out in the party which is likely to result in Postponement of the elections The entry of former chief minister Hokishe Semantic the fray on the side of stormy petrel LK Sema has come as a boost to the anti S.C Jamir group in the party. Hokishe who came to the capital last week ostensibly for a medical check-up has sought an appointment with Prime Minister P.V Narasimha Rao. He is staying Put until the meeting takes place. Kashmir also a former chief behind the move to induct the NPC rebel MLAS (of the recently dissolved Assembly) into the party. These include 11 MLA search from the NPCO led by K.L. Chisi and the NPCP ted by K. Hollohon About half these members including Chisi and Hollohon have changed their pany affiliations more than once.

Though no decision has been taken on their applications so far party sources feel that the high command is “obliged” to accommodate them as they had been willing to help S.C. Jamir for the government but for the fact that Vamuzo ordered dissolution the Assembly.

This mass induction of “habitual defectors” has upset the group led by I.K.Sema an important tribal leader. This group fees that if the pany gives tickets to such “potically unstable” persons the government will not last even I Congress manages to win the elections. Moreover a weak government will not be able to tackle the problem of insurgency.

The group has therefore pulled Hokishe Sema out of semi-retirement and asked him to present their case directly 10 the Prime Minister. Hokishe is a highly respected party leader who as chief minister was most effective in tackling insurgency in the state

A member of the group said that Hokishe would convey to the prime Minister their feelings that

Congress should not be perceived to be a party stand for some principles whatever the political cost. They argue that party nominations should be given to sincere workers rather than as a reward to defectors.

In fact the anti-Jamir group points out that the pany is in danger of being overwhelmed by defectors. They claim that there are barely a handful of original Congress men in the party today. These include PCC president Chingwang Kongyak I.K.Sema 1.Vikhesh Chitten Jamir N .l Jamir and Changkong. The group said it would spare no efforts to rem the party president that S.C Jamir was himself a defector.

The factional rivalries and the preoccupation of the party high command with the Congress plenary and Working Committee elections make early elections to the state unlikely as the leadership crisis’s yet to be defused. A senior leader said that if the Congress was in a position to win the Presidential elections without the votes of the Nagaland Assembly then elections would be held only in winter

Meanwhile a new Governor is likely to be appointed soon in place of M.M. Thomas who was replaced recently.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 8, 1996