Shillong, February 16: The Congress was forced to withdraw five candidates for Nagaland Assembly election due to severe cash crunch. Only 18 candidates from the party are in the fray now for February 27 polls. Also Read - Vaccine, Jobs And Unemployment Allowance: High Political Drama in Bihar as Parties Wage Manifesto War Ahead of Polls

On February 6, the party had released a list of 23 candidates for the 60-member Assembly but five contestants — Limawati Jamir (Aonglenden), Hobeto Kiba (Zunheboto), Shami Angh (Longleng), Choakpa Konyak (Tobu) and Aimong Lam (Noklak) — later withdrew their papers, the Hindustan Times reported. Also Read - 'Unlike UP...': Rahul Gandhi Hits Out At BJP Over 'Gandhis Don't Care' Comment

“They did so due to lack of financial resources,’ said a Congress leader familiar with the developments. Also Read - Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Migrants Walked Kms Without Food & Water, Did PM Help You Then, Asks Rahul | Highlights

“There is a realisation in the Congress that nothing much could be done and hence no point pumping resources. The general secretary in-charge of northeast, CP Joshi, seems to be least interested in the party’s affairs in the region,” said the leader who refused to be quoted.

Nagaland Congress president Kewe Khape Therie confirmed that the “huge cash crunch” had forced the party to initially field candidates on 23 seats only.

“The AICC (All India Congress Committee) cannot fund us. This was conveyed to us by the general secretary (CP Joshi),” he said. “I think a party which is in opposition for 15 years cannot fight against a corrupt government without enough resources.”

The cash crunch issue was admitted by several Congress leaders during 2014 Lok Sabha elections. And it has been reportedly continuing in consecutive assembly elections in several states since then.