Kohima, Feb 5: Election fever is catching up in the hills of Nagaland. Nagaland Assembly Elections 2013 is scheduled for Feb 23. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has recently distributed tickets to 11 candidates, including a woman candidate, in the 60-seat Nagaland State Legislative Assembly.
In order to woo voters, BJP top national leaders are visiting Nagaland in coming days. Some of the star campaigners of BJP to visit Nagaland are Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, and Varun Gandhi.
According to state BJP sources, Sushma Swaraj will campaign for the party's lone woman candidate Rakhila Lakhiumong of 54 Tuensang Sadar-II , while either Rajnath Singh or Nitin Gadkari and Varun Gandhi will campaign in Mon district.
So far, the BJP is the only political organisation to have given ticket to a woman candidate, Rakhila, to be fielded from the Tuensang Sadar-II seat.
Rakhila is the widow of ex-minister Lakiumong who died in 2006. The BJP Nagaland has formed a pre-poll alliance with the Naga People's Front (NPF). BJP has released its manifesto for the assembly elections recently. The manifesto promises equity in development.
Releasing the manifesto at its party office, senior BJP leader P B Acharya, said BJP's identity is BJP's manifesto. He added that as a national party, the BJP has to release its own manifesto, even though the party has forged a pre-poll alliance in Nagaland with NPF and JD(U).
Acharya said, "The Common Minimum Programme of the alliance partners will be worked out in the due course of time." Talking about the party's agenda, he said the BJP is focusing on equity in development, political empowerment, jobs for youths and upliftment of farmers.A prominent figure among the BJP candidates is veteran politician and eight-time MLA, TA Ngullie, who will fight from the Tyui A/C in Wokha district.
He would be contesting against sitting NPF MLA Yanthungo Patton and Congress candidate Yankithung Yanthan. BJP is also the only political party in the state to be fielding a non-Naga candidate in this election.
BJP state unit president M Chuba said though the party had entered into a pre-poll alliance with the ruling Naga People's Front, there would be no seat-sharing with it, arguing that the pre-poll alliance was a ‘friendly and strategic arrangement' only.
He also said that the party might consider fielding candidates in addition to 11 already declared.
Yesterday the NPF issued tickets to 60 candidates while opposition Congress would field 55 candidates.
(With inputs from PTI)