NDPP, NPF both claim to form Govt in Nagaland

Both the NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio and outgoing Chief Minister T R Zeliang of the NPF staked claim to form the government with the support of a majority of the MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.

Rio resigned as Nagaland chief minister on 24 May 2014 after winning the Lok Sabha seat from the state. He didn't reveal any information on the share of cabinet berths the alliance partners will have. Showing a massive increase in its footprint in the state, the BJP alone secured 12 seats this time, overshooting expectations from all parties. On being asked, Sarma finally broke silence on BJP's ties with the NPF.

A win for the NPF, which relentlessly flagged the Hindutva issue in the Christian majority state, would be the biggest blow to the BJP-NDPP combine.

The figures at 6.30 pm indicated that the NPF had won 27 seats and its allies - Conrad Sangma's National People's Party and Janata Dal (United) had won one each.

Now, faced with two claimants, the Governor is said to have given both Mr Rio and Mr Zeliang 48 hours to prove their majority.

"Zeliang is also right and let the letter come and let him be convinced whether the BJP is with him or not".

The BJP was part of the NPF-led government in Nagaland till the Assembly elections but parted ways to join hands with the newly-formed NDPP.

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The Governor said Zeliang told him he has hope that BJP may support them and there can be a stable government.

However, a confident Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), claiming support of 32 elected representatives, have a slight edge.

Rio said the National People's Party's Nagaland president Ato Yepthomi expressed willingness to extend support to the NDPP-BJP alliance in the formation of the government. Sarma on Monday said that the NPF in Manipur is a different registered party, independent of Nagaland NPF, and that BJP would sort it out with the Manipur NPF on its own.

In a release Friday, NPF announced that in the interest of the political solution to the Naga problem it continues to be an alliance partner of the BJP.

"We (BJP and NDPP) had detailed discussion on the architecture and representation of the two parties in the government".

With the alliance in place, NDPP has been admitted to the National Democratic Alliance and also the North East Democratic Alliance, Sarma informed. "First is the Naga political issue, we should bring solution as early as possible because Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very concerned and an agreement will be signed on Aug 10".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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