UNC cautions dissenters
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 29: Brushing aside the voices of dissent and disagreements raised from several quarters against the selection of �consensus candidates� by the United Naga Council (UNC), its president Paul Leo has asserted that the voices of protest and objections are being raised by some individuals who could not garner enough public support to be �consensus candidates�.

Paul Leo was speaking to reporters at the UNC office of Senapati yesterday in connection with its initiative to put up 11 �consensus candidates� for the 9th Assembly elections.

In case the voice of dissent and malicious propaganda continue unabated, UNC would take up non-violent action against those elements, said Leo while cautioning that their movements may be restricted.

Earlier DK Korungthang and Z Mangaibou approached the UNC seeking to be �consensus candidates� from Tengnoupal A/C and Tamei A/C respectively, he disclosed.

UNC then asked them to resign from their posts of MLA but they refused to act, added Paul.

Altogether 80 persons applied to the UNC to be their sponsored �consensus candidates�.

On January 15, with the undertaking of 51 aspiring candidates, 11 �consensus candidates� were selected.

There was no case of objection or misunderstanding, he said.

To a query regarding the political parties with which the �consensus candidates� may forge alliance after polls in case they get elected, the UNC president informed that political alliance would be made only through the United Naga Democratic Front.

Even as the UNC has been mulling to prohibit election campaign by candidates belonging to National parties and regional parties, there would be no such restriction against independent candidates, he disclosed.

Talking to reporters, the UNC sponsored �consensus candidates� of Karong A/C RV Shirang and K Raina of Tadubi A/C stated that they fully endorse the ongoing peace talk between NSCN (IM) and the Government of India.

When asked whether they (consensus candidates) get any financial aid from UNC, the former Deputy Speaker K Raina said they do not receive any financial help from UNC.

He further exuded confidence that the ensuing elections would be free and fair.

To another question regarding the general perception that the �consensus candidates� are backed by NSCN (IM), Raina said that NSCN (IM) has nothing to do with the election process of India.

Henry Paotei of Karong A/C who resigned as an MLA but denied that he did it to chosen as one of the �consensus candidates� said "I'm not that important.

What is paramount important importance as the national issues".

Even though he is not among the UNC sponsored candidates, Henry said that he will contest the ensuing elections.

He remarked that the fate of any candidate depends on the people but not on UNC's favour.

He further questioned as to what can the UNC do in the elections.

When asked as to why he was not included among the �consensus candidates� despite working so long for the Naga cause, Henry replied that he has also been asking the same question to himself.

Appealing to the people not to misuse the office (UNC), he said, "Let the people decide".

On the other hand, the team of reporters could not observe any poster or flag belonging to National parties during their visit to Senapati Bazar and adjoining areas.

However, elections posters and banners belonging to independent candidates could be observed in every corner.