Other States

Oppn. nod to join Nagaland govt.

The opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) has accepted Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio’s offer to join his People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government.

The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) that Mr. Rio represents, on Tuesday adopted a resolution to first consult ruling partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before bringing the NPF on board.

The 60-member Nagaland Assembly currently has 59 members after the death of an MLA. The PDA has 34 legislators (20 are from NDPP, 12 from BJP and two Independents) while the NPF has 25.

The consultation with the BJP is seen as a formality ahead of the “inevitable” – the NPF becoming a constituent of the PDA to leave the Nagaland Assembly without any member in the opposition.

Mr. Rio is believed to have turned the tables on the BJP, which had reportedly been trying to rekindle its friendship with the NPF. The BJP and NPF are allies in the adjoining State of Manipur.

The two parties were allies in Nagaland but the BJP opted to stitch an alliance with NDPP ahead of the 2018 Assembly election. Mr. Rio had quit the NPF and joined the NDPP before the election that year.

Following the development, the BJP’s central leadership has decided to send its Nagaland in-charge Nalin Kohli to the State on Wednesday, a party leader said.

NPF troubles

Trouble within the NPF had started in 2019 when seven of its MLAs pledged support to the NDPP-led Nagaland government. The NPF suspended the seven but suffered a setback when the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court had in February dismissed its applications seeking their disqualification from the Assembly.

An NPF leader said the party’s legislators had met on Monday to discuss the offer from the Chief Minister. “We decided to accept the offer in the interest of the settlement of the protracted Naga political problem (peace process with extremist groups),” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 2:28:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/oppn-nod-to-join-nagaland-govt/article35436191.ece

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