Team Rio, Zeliang meet Nagaland Governor

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. One Independent legislator has also extended its support to the NDPP-BJP-led alliance.

Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang along with other elected NPF MLAs calling on Governor of Nagaland, PB Acharya at Raj Bhavan, Kohima on March 4 to stake claim to form government as the "single largest party".

They were accompanied by Chingwang Konyak, President NDPP; Visasolie Lhongou, President BJP Nagaland State Unit; V. Abu Metha, Secretary General NDPP; and Rusemtong Longkumer, General Secretary, NDPP.

Stating that the resolution of the Naga political issue was the top priority of the NPF, party spokesperson Achumbemo Kikon told PTI, "In the interest of the peace process, the NPF had made a decision to reaffirm the alliance with the BJP and we want to continue the alliance".

N.R. Zeliang is the brother of Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang, who has won the adjoining Peren Assembly constituency. The newly-elected legislators are expected to meet in Kohima on Monday to elect their party leader.

Reacting to the development, Nagaland Governor, P.B. Acharya said, "I have not invited anyone to form the government as of now". With the state witnessing a hung Assembly, the BJP has emerged as the kingmaker being wooed by both the main regional parties.

Zeliang is also said to have been in touch with BJP leaders even ahead of elections in which his NPF and BJP fought tooth and nail.

After meeting senior NDPP leader and former chief minister Neiphiu Rio here, BJP leader and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told newsmen that his party was no longer in alliance with the NPF that had been in power in the state since 2008. The National People's Party (NPP) bagged two seats, while the JD (U) got one seat.

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

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

With the alliance in place, NDPP has been admitted to the National Democratic Alliance and also the North East Democratic Alliance, Sarma informed.

He thanked the prime minister for campaigning in the state.

Meanwhile, talking to, NPF spokesperson Achumbemo Kikon termed BJP's decision to sever ties with his party as a "unilateral decision".

  • Tracy Klein