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By Oken Jeet Sandham
KOHIMA, Mar 5 (NEPS): BJP leader and NEDA Chairman Himanta Biswa Sarma has today announced that an NDPP-led Government would be formed in Nagaland and newly elected NDPP Legislature Party leader Neiphiu Rio would be their Chief Minister.
Talking to press people after he had a meeting with Rio here at the Hotel Vivor on Monday, Biswa said the BJP already had supported Rio for forming the Government in Nagaland. They already met Governor PB Acharya on Sunday and staked claim to form the Government. “What will be the ratio of sharing Cabinet births and mechanism for running the affairs in the State have already been discussed during our meeting with Rio,” he disclosed. “All these details will be disclosed by Rio later.”
When asked how NDPP-BJP was going to run the Government in Nagaland when they won only 30 seats, Sarma disclosed that they already had the support of one JDU MLA and another Independent and that formed the simple majority qualifying to form the Government in Nagaland.
NDPP won 18 seats and BJP won 12 seats in the just concluded 2018 General Elections in Nagaland and this reaches 30 in the House of 60. Later, the single JDU MLA and another single Independent have extended letters of support to Rio’s leadership. “We are also receiving support from one NPP MLA,” he claimed. NPP won two seats this time.
When asked NPF leader TR Zeliang was still not resigning as Chief Minister of Nagaland saying BJP was still with NPF, Sarma said BJP had already severed ties with NPF.
It was, however, true that BJP was part of DAN Government in Nagaland since 2003. But BJP already had a pre-Poll alliance with NDPP and under that banner, they went to the people to seek their mandate in the 2018 General Elections and now they got the mandate to form the Government in Nagaland, he explained.
“We went to the people with a pre-poll alliance with NDPP,” he said. “Now, we can’t go back to NPF.”
“Zeliang is a leader of North East and we want him to respect the democratic norms,” he said. “We don’t want that his Excellency (Governor) to force him to resign.” Otherwise, his action would become a dictatorship, he stated.
When asked how it would be possible that forming a Government in Nagaland without NPF when they (NPF) were part of the BJP-led Government in Manipur, Sarma said, “Manipur NPF is a different registered party.” It would not affect their BJP-led Government in Manipur, he said and further added that they would continue to have them (NPF) in Manipur Government.
Rio, who was also present while talking to the presspersons, expressed his happiness that they already had sealed an “agreement” for running the affairs of the Government in the State. He, however, said he could not disclose it now.
With regard to the settlement of the Naga political issue, Sarma said Prime Minister Narendra Modi already expressed about bringing a solution to the Naga issue while campaigning in Nagaland. Resolving the Naga issue was one the main agendas during his (Modi) campaigns in Nagaland, he added.
“Rio is a seasoned politician and having good relationships with many leaders in the North East and he will be able to provide a stable Government in Nagaland,” Sarma said. “We, at the helm of affairs in Nagaland while Prime Minister Modi at the Center, a stable Government will come in Nagaland essential for a solution to the Naga issue,” he added.