Other States

Therie offers to quit as Nagaland Congress chief after poll defeat

The crisis in the Congress after the Assembly election “debacle” is believed to have deepened after Kewekhape Therie offered to resign as the Nagaland unit chief on “moral ground”.

Mr Therie, 64, was one of 18 candidates that the Congress had struggled to field in a State it had ruled for more than 22 years under three Chief Ministers. He ended up third in Pfutsero, behind Neiba Kronu of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and Thenucho of Naga People’s Front (NPF).

Mr Therie told reporters in Dimapur that he tendered his resignation to Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee executive committee on “moral ground” after the party’s deafeat in the February 27 election. The NPCC said the party High Command will have to take a call on Mr. Therie’s resignation.

The Congress managed to garner 2.1% votes this time, down from 24.89% of total votes polled in the 2013 Assembly elections when eight of its 56 candidates had won comfortably. Mr Therie, though, lost his seat to Mr Kronu, then with NPF.

Slide since 2015

The Congress suffered a setback in November 2015 when all its eight MLAs merged with the NPF.

“As the NPCC president, I have tendered my resignation owning responsibility for the election debacle,” Mr. Therie said, adding that a secular alternative that he stood for did not materialise as the Congress has been wiped out from the State legislature.

But he said he would remain as a member of the Congress. He had taken over as NPCC president in May 2015 after SI Jamir resigned on health grounds. Mr Jamir joined the NPF later.

Nagaland, which attained statehood in 1963, had been voting for regional parties until the Congress formed its first government in 1986 under Hokishe Sema. The Congress became stronger under SC Jamir, now Governor of Odisha, who served as Chief Minister from 1989-1990 and from 1993-2003. In between, KL Chishi was on the chair for 36 days.

Mr Chishi had before the announcement of the February 18 polls quit the Congress citing “trust deficit” within the party. Mr Therie too was critical of All India Congress Committee leaders during the campaign, attacking them for “lack of interest” in Nagaland.

Legislators’ choice of SUVs

Some MLAs of the opposition NPF are learnt to have sought the top model of Toyota Innova instead of Renault Duster reportedly planned by the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government for allotment to legislators.

The PDA constituents are NDPP and BJP, which had been the NPF’s coalition partner in Nagaland during the last 15 years.

The Morung Express, a Nagaland daily, quoted NPF legislator Kuzholuzo Neinu as saying that 10 party MLAs have written to the Assembly Commissioner-Secretary requesting to provide the Toyota vehicle instead of the Renault SUV because of “maintenance issue”.

Mr Neinu said the NPF had during its last term provided Innova as official vehicle to all 60 MLAs. “We are not asking for a better vehicle or anything different,” he added, insisting that they have opted for a vehicle that is costlier but better in terms of maintenance expenses in the long run.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 3:07:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/therie-offers-to-quit-as-nagaland-congress-chief-after-poll-defeat/article23039655.ece

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