Kohima, Sept. 17: The Congress high command has ordered repolling for the post of the Nagaland PCC president after violence erupted mid-way during polling today.
Election PRO H.K. Patel has ordered repolling on Monday after a meeting with senior party members, including Congress Legislature Party leader Tokheho Yepthomi, at the Congress Bhawan, Kohima.
The election process was allegedly disrupted by supporters of I. Imkong, the current president of the PCC who is also running for the office.
MLA Sungit Jamir is also contesting for the post.
Midway through polling, supporters of Imkong hurl stones and later stormed the polling booth, damaging the ballot box and tearing up ballot papers.
The situation almost went out of control between supporters of Imkong and Sungit.
Congress sources said the Sungit camp had rejected the repolling order, suspecting foul play by the opponent, but after much persuasion, the election PRO could finally order repolling on Monday.
Congress leaders remained tight-lipped over the incident, but a party insider told The Telegraph that today’s incident has widened the rift in the party. Cracks had appeared within the Nagaland Congress after state general elections in 2008, because of the leadership crisis.
With today’s incident a clear picture had emerged. But Congress insiders from the Imkong camp have blamed the present crisis on former chief minister S.C. Jamir who is allegedly trying to make a comeback into state politics, despite opposition from some senior Congress leaders.
Sungit is Jamir’s brother. The Imkong camp alleged that by letting his brother contest for the post of the PCC president, Jamir was paving the way for his comeback. They also claimed that at least one of their supporters has been kidnapped by the opponent.
Sungit denied such speculations. His supporters claimed that since they have a clear majority, the opponents had disrupted the election process out of desperation. Sungit expressed unhappiness over today’s incident, terming it “unfortunate and shameful”. He said they have already identified the “miscreants” who had disrupted the election process.
“We have identified the miscreants. We know who they are,” he said.
He said today’s incident has created more rifts in the party. “Of course this would create more divisions in the party,” he told The Telegraph after re-polling was announced.
He also strongly rebutted the claims of opponents that his brother Jamir is trying to make a comeback into state politics through him.
“That is false and not true,” he said.
But Imkong’s supporters claim they will win if the polling is free and fair.
Sources from the Congress Bhavan though, said Imkong and Sungit are running neck and neck.