Nagaland Congress heading for a split?
Speculations over I Imkong’s expulsion
Kohima, March 29: The Nagaland Congress is heading for a split with reports of some Congress members being determined to get rid of former CLP leader & NPCC president, I Imkong for his alleged anti-party activities. Imkong could not be contacted as he was in London.
Senior Congress leaders, who left for New Delhi Thursday afternoon admitted that their former leader was “hobnobbing with some people in the party” for a new pasture sensing that he would soon be thrown out from the Congress party.
Sources said that Imkong would arrive New Delhi Thursday night.
NPCC president, S I Jamir and CLP leader, Tokheho Yepthomi have left for New Delhi to pursue the matter with the party High Command so that Imkong in expelled from the party before he could take further steps, which has already been marred by rifts and dissidents.
It may be mentioned that Imkong was expelled from the party last year, but the All India Congress Committee (AICC) overruled the decision of the NPCC and revoked the expulsion of the senior Congress leader. However, the AICC’s decision did not calm the party’s leadership in Nagaland.
State Congress leaders claimed that the matter was still with AICC and has not be resolved, but kept in status quo.
On Imkong’s expulsion, sources from the party office at Kohima claimed that there was no question of expulsion of the former CLP leader this time as the matter was still pending with the Party High Command.
“There is no question of expulsion of Imkong this time again as the issue is still with the party high command,” a party insider said. However, he said the expulsion of Imkong by the PCC last year still remains.
According to sources, the decision of the party High Command may go in favour of PCC as Imkong was warned by AICC and even asked to tender an apology, which he refused to do.
Imkong’s refusal to tender apology would prompt the party High Command to take disciplinary action, which would invite 6 years expulsion from the party, sources maintained.
Rift in state Congress party had widened in October 2010 during the PCC elections when the incumbent president, I Imkong had contested against S I Jamir. The elections witnessed involvement of armed cadres of some outfits and also setting fire on Congress office at Kohima.
The president of PCC also hinted that they would pursue the matter with the party officials in Delhi to initiate appropriate action against their former leader at the earliest. He said the issue of Imkong was still pending with the AICC and that they would be meeting the party leaders.
He also did not rule out Imkong joining Trinamool Congress adding, “I heard like that”. But sources close to former CLP leader rebutted the speculation stating that there was no possibility of Imkong joining Mamata’s bandwagon. “He will not join Trinamool Congress,” a source close to Imkong said.
The former CLP leader who is a staunch Congressman would rather opt for Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) than Trinamool Congress, sources said.
Congress sources in Kohima also confirmed that Imkong was teaming up to join Trinamool Congress after it had been successful in Manipur elections.
There are also speculations that Imkong might join the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) and that he had even met Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio a couple of months back.
President of PCC, Jamir also did not rule out few sitting Congress legislators joining Imkong’s bandwagon if he (Imkong) is expelled.
Sources also said not only legislators but some members of PCC would even jump into Imkong’s cart as he remained to be reckoned as an influential politician in the state.
After the 2008 polls, Imkong was immediately replaced by former president of PCC, Chingwang Konyak to be leader of CLP. Konyak was again replaced by Tokheho Yepthomi.
Currently there are 18 Congress members in the house of 60 members supported by an Independent MLA, Kihoto Hollohon. (Page News Service)