BJP officially divorces NPF

BJP officially divorces NPF
BJP leader, Himanta Biswa Sarma interacting with media persons at Kohima on Monday.
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NDPP-BJP Govt likely to be sworn in on March 8

Kohima, March 5: The BJP today official severed its 15-year-old tie with ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) while also reaffirming its pre-poll commitment with the NDPP.
The stage is now set for the swearing in of a new Government, which is likely to be held on March 8. Sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to attend the swearing in ceremony likely to be held at local ground Kohima on March 8.
Although BJP officially refused to comment, sources said the decision was arrived at in a series of meeting between Assam Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma along with BJP National general secretary in-charge of North East, Ajay Jamwal with three-time former Chief Minister and NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio and NDPP president Chingwang Konyak.
The announcement of severing ties with the NPF was made by BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma at a press conference here today.
“We came to have meeting NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio as BJP has already extended him the support for formation of the next government here today,” Sarma said.
“We (BJP and NDPP) had detailed discussion on the architecture and also representation of both BJP-NDPP in the government… the ratio and also our goal as well as to ensure stability in Nagaland,” he said adding, “we have arrived at final conclusion and it will be disclosed by Rio in due course of time”.
We also agreed that BJP, NDPP, JD(U) and other alliance will run the government in the name People’s Democratic Alliance, he informed.
Asked on the non declaration of official severance of ties with NPF, Sarma said, “Today, I can officially say that we have no truck with NPF and there is no question of going back to NPF in forming the government”.
“We have advised TR Zeliang that in respecting the best democratic norms he should resign forthwith and because NDPP and BJP as a pre-poll alliance, we have the majority and also have the support from alliance partners NPP and JD(U),” he said.
Zeliang is a senior leader of North East and he had been chief minister for four years, so we want that the democratic norms be respected, he said.
Expressing that the Constitution has many other provisions, Sarma said “we do not want that the Governor should be forced to do anything which will not be in a very good taste”.
“We (BJP) decided to go with NDPP and we have gone to the people with the pre-poll alliance agreement and people has given us the mandate and therefore now BJP cannot go back to NPF… we cannot betray the mandate of the people.
“We are grateful that NPF still wants to support BJP but problem is that we cannot ditch the people of Nagaland as we have contested the election jointly with NDPP and it is not post poll alliance but it was pre-poll. We have made our position clear to Zeliang and I hope and trust that he being a senior leader he will respect the constitutional propriety and resign forthwith,” he said.
Asked if any official letter was handed over to Zeliang on breaking the ties, Sarma said “in politics we don’t go by too many letters but our presence with Rio and working with him for the formation of the next government… politics goes on signals and we are sending enough signals to Zeliang at this stage we cannot be friend with NPF.”
Sarma also revealed that Zeliang has been wanting to meet BJP central leaders but “it will be improper as it would send wrong signal to the people of Nagaland”.
“There will be absolutely no problem if Zeliang meets BJP central leaders only after formation of the new government, because our central leaders will never say no to meeting a former Chief Minister. But today and tomorrow if anybody from a different political party meets the BJP central leaders, speculations will raise among the people of Nagaland on the credential of BJP party,” he said.
On Zeliang’s claim that NPF-BJP alliance continues because two of BJP ministers in his ministry has not resigned, Sarma said “technically the BJP ministers have not resigned because of the respect of the relationship between BJP and NPF for so many years.”
On NPP joining the alliance, Sarma confirmed that one out of the two the newly elected NPP member has extended support to BJP-NDPP alliance. “I am in touch with NPP president Conrad Sangma and he will definitely support the new formation in Nagaland,” he said.
On the impact of NPF-BJP relation in Manipur because the severance of ties in Nagaland, Sarma said “Manipur NPF is registered differently, so we will continue to have our truck with NPF. But anyway Manipur government stability is not at stake because we have a huge majority there,” he said.
On the official election of the leader of alliance partners, Sarma said “we (BJP) have already extended support to NDPP and Rio is the leader of NDPP and so NDPP’s leader is the leader of the alliance… by virtue of Rio being the leader of NDPP, he obviously becomes the leader of the alliance,” he said.
Meanwhile, NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio told the media that “the details of the agreement sealed between BJP and NDPP cannot be revealed at this moment unless the actual shape takes place”. The joint alliance is named as People’s Democratic Alliance, Rio added. (Page News Service)

So be it, says NPF on BJP breaking ties

Kohima, March 5: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) today said that the severance of ties by its 15-year old ally BJP in Nagaland is a ‘unilateral decision’ taken by the BJP.
“NPF has won 27 seats, including Namduadi Rankau Zeliang in Tening Assembly Constituency, and combined with the 12 seats won by BJP we will be able to provide a stable and strong government to the people of the State,” NPF spokesperson Achumbemo Kikon said.
Expressing that resolution of the long pending Naga political issue has been the top priority of NPF Party, Kikon said in the interest of the peace process NPF had decided to reaffirm the alliance with BJP and “we thought of continuing with a post poll alliance even as they had entered into pre-poll alliance with some other party”.
On the other hand, Kikon also confirmed that the incumbent Chief Minister, T R Zeliang is in close touch with the BJP high command and “we still hope good sense prevails among the BJP leaders”.
He also affirmed that the mandate of the Naga people in electing 27 NPF nominees is a clear indication that Nagas prefer and supports the leadership T R Zeliang over Neiphiu Rio, who was given only 17 seats while most of the NPF candidates who lost had a difference of only few votes.
Nonetheless, he said, being a national party, if the BJP does not consider the possibility of providing a stable and strong government by continuing the alliance with NPF, it is up to them, Kikon said.
The NPF spokesperson also expressed resentment over the recounting of votes in Tening seat. He said that on the day of the result NPF nominee N R Zeliang was declared winner by 32 votes while the Returning Officer had also handed over the winning certificate, but later NDPP candidate Namri Nchang was declared winner by recounting the votes without the presence of NPF polling agents and the candidate. “We therefore will continue to claim that NPF has won 27 seats,” Kikon quipped.
Asked whether the BJP’s decision to severe ties with NPF here would impact the relationship in Manipur, where four NPF legislators are part of the BJP government, Kikon said “NPF will have to revisit the decision”. (Page News Service)