IMPHAL, June 26: “The defeat of NPF is attributed to the wrong policy decision taken by UNC and NPF leadership and not due to the contest of other Naga candidates,” said Mani Charenamei, independent candidate for the Manipur Outer Constituency of the 16th Lok Sabha Election in a statement made available to IFP through our Churachandpur correspondent.
He was referring to the defeat of the NPF in the recent election which was won by INC candidate Thangsho Baite, while responding to UNC’s social boycott call against him..
The statement said, “This time NPF could muster more than 2,70,000 Naga votes and it was defeated, next time they may be able to muster all the Naga votes but they should remember that it’s opponent will come out even stronger than before to defeat them as long as they refuse to understand the dynamics of a highly polarised tribal politics prevalent in the state of Manipur. In fact, if I had contested from NPF party I would have faced the same fate.”
The UNC had earlier while announcing the boycott said that it takes serious exception to the “anti-Naga activities of Mani Charenamei.”
It had said that the candidate had in a public statement questioned the legitimacy of the AA demand of the Nagas in Manipur which gave very negative reflection to the world.
In his clarification, Mani Charenamei has said that the UNC’s resolution of May 28, 2014 boycotting him contains misleading information and malicious aforethoughts to ruin his political career by levelling unfounded and baseless accusations against him for the defeat of the NPF candidate in the 16th Lok Sabha election, 2014.
He said he had consulted several Naga leaders including NPF, Manipur president and UNC executives before forally and publicly declaring his stand to contest the election as an independent candidate.
“The social boycott call announced only against me while sparing other prominent Naga candidates by the UNC is a bias decision and is aimed at tarnishing my image.”
While stating that the poor performance of NPF in Nungba, Tamenglong and Tamei constituencies compared to other Naga districts was not his doing, he said, “The NPF and it’s volunteers have also levelled baseless and unfounded allegations against me that I have been paid a lot of money to contest against the NPF candidate by the Chief Minister and deputy Chief Minister of Manipur.”