MM Thromwa Konyak of the Indian Christian Secular Party will now contest the Lok Sabha elections from the lone seat in Nagaland as an Independent after he failed to produce the original signed copies of Form A and B issued by his party.
Konyak, for his part, believes his candidature is the Christian God’s work. His primary poll promise is sending 10,000 Christian Missionaries from Nagaland out into the world to spread the message of Christ.
“Our forefathers had a dream, that Nagaland sends 10,000 Christian missionaries out into the world. But that dream remains unfulfilled. I will take up the task once I win the election,” Konyak was quoted as saying by TOI.
He stated further, “Nagaland is a Christian majority state. I believe in and practice politics that is based on Christian principles. But I should not be mistaken as a religious bigot or communal. I am Christian by faith, Indian by citizenship and Naga by blood.”
Konyak appears to be blatantly in violation of the Supreme Court verdict which outlawed election campaigns in the name of religion, caste, race, community or language. Only recently, the Election Commission had reiterated that the use of caste and religion is prohibited. “As per the Model Code of Conduct, the use of caste and religion during the election campaign is strictly prohibited,” a statement issued by Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer had said.
Konyak had contested earlier in state assembly elections in 2008 and 2013 but has never won. It is reported that he had tried unsuccessfully for a BJP ticket before announcing his candidature. Besides his dream of 10,000 missionaries, he has stated that he wants to build churches in all remote regions of Nagaland, especially along the Myanmar border.
It is notable here that Nagaland is a Christian majority state and the Church has been involved in politics in most elections. Last year, the Nagaland Baptist Church Council was in the news for asking voters to choose between the ‘Trishul and the Cross’, apparently in opposition of the BJP-led NDA. The NDPP, which is currently ruling in the state, is an NDA member.