KOHIMA, JULY 23: Nagaland Minister for PWD and independent legislator Tongpang Ozukum Friday welcomed proposal of the opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) to form an all-party Government by joining the ruling alliance to facilitate an early settlement of the Naga peace talks.
The NPF, on July 19, decided to join the Neiphiu Rio-led People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) to form an opposition-less Government and the document of support was handed over to the Chief Minister by the party leader TR Zeliang on July 20.
In the 60-member House, the NDPP has 20 MLAs, NPF 25, BJP 12, Independents 2. One seat is vacant. Besides the NDPP, the PDA has the support of the BJP and Independents.
Nagaland legislators have time and again said they are willing to give up their MLA-ship to facilitate any alternative arrangement coming out of the Naga peace talks.
“As a member of the PDA, I also believe that a solution is the most important issue”, Ozukum said.
Welcoming the NPF decision, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his party NDPP, a major constituent of the PDA, said in the spirit of the alliance, he would have to consult BJP before taking a final call on the NPF proposal.
Ozukum said that that though he is in touch with the BJP, a final decision by them on the issue is yet to be received.
He said he hoped BJP state leaders would soon consult the party’s high command and take a final call on the issue.
Nagaland BJP president and Cabinet Minister Temjen Imna Along did not respond to telephone calls on the issue.
Meanwhile, officers in the Deputy Chief Minister’s office said that after arriving in Dimapur on July 21, BJP’s Nagaland in-charge, Nalin Kohli, had a series of meetings with party legislators and State unit leaders but no decision was taken.
National BJP spokesperson and Nagaland Advisor for IT, Science and New and Renewable Energy, Mmhonlumo Kikon said that the meeting was held “for consultations”.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister Rio, Deputy Chief Minister Patton and national BJP spokesperson Kohli went to Guwahati on Friday to meet Assam Chief Minister and North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma to consult him on the matter.
They are also likely to meet BJP central leaders at Delhi with the NPF proposal.
The Central Government is holding peace talks with some 9 Naga political groups, including the Isak Muiviah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM). (PTI)