NDPP MLAs to meet tomorrow to elect Rio as leader

T.R. Zeliang

T.R. Zeliang

The 48-hour deadline given by the governor to Mr Rio and Mr Zeliang to submit the signatures of the elected members supporting them will expire on Tuesday evening.

The BJP will form the next government in Nagaland with the help of other parties, Union minister and BJP in-charge for the state Kiren Rijiju said today, indicating that the party's erstwhile ally NPF may align with it.

Indications are that the saffron party, which contested on 20 seats in a pre-poll alliance with NDPP, could finally bring three-time chief minister Rio back into state politics.

Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav, accompanied by NDPP's Chief Ministerial face Neiphiu Rio, met the Governor at Raj Bhavan here as the alliance has inched ahead in terms of managing numbers as one JD (U) MLA and an Independent legislator have pledged support to them.

With Tening constituency election result having been altered and now going in favour of NDPP candidate Namri Nchang, the BJP-NDPP alliance's strength has risen to 32 in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly, 18 NDPP and 12 BJP members, besides one JD (U) MLA and one Independent MLA. "We will go with the NDPP", said Mr Sarma, adding that "enough signals" had been sent to Mr Zeliang.

The party has declared that if it gets the majority together with its allies, it will form the government.

A neck and neck fight was on in Nagaland between NPF and BJP-NDPP alliance.

"But later NDPP candidate Namri Nchang was declared victor after recounting of votes without the presence of NPF polling agents and the candidate".

Himanta Biswa Sarma, however, said, "We can not go back to the NPF as we had gone to the people in the Assembly election with the pre-poll alliance with the NDPP".

According to the guidelines of the Election Commission of India, a new government should be installed before the end of the old tenure.

The Naga People's Front (NPF) has taken umbrage to news reports in the electronic and the print media about Chief Minister TR Zeliang's refusal to step down.

He said Zeliang has submitted a list of 26 NPF MLAs and two NPP and one JD (U) legislators.

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 chose to reaffirm the alliance with the BJP and we want to continue the alliance".

Zeliang also informed Acharya that within 2 days time he may go to Delhi and discuss with the BJP central leaders. Efforts of reporters to reach Zeliang were unsuccessful.

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