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Centre keeping eyes on NDPP and NPF merger speculation

Nagaland News

Nirendra Dev
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30: Often certain things which are given a pass innocuously are taken much seriously elsewhere.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio must have done it just casually. But the dropping of his photograph with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rio’s Twitter account (cover snap) is being taken “seriously” in certain quarters.
Rio has instead put a photograph of Mt Saramati in Kiphire district in his Twitter cover image.
Well, that’s a personal choice and not many people can take offense about that.
However, in political circles there is also talk about the possibility of merger between NDPP and NPF. For all practical purposes, both the parties are already working with a unity of purpose.
The NDPP is actually an offshoot of NPF only and was formed in 2017 just on the eve of elections in Nagaland in February 2018.
Rio and his ‘immediate successor’ to Chief Minister’s post in 2014, TR Zeliang, have also buried the hatchets apparently. The NPF is now very much part of the Rio-led coalition regime.
However, there are some who say the NPF and the NDPP need to come on a single platform to strengthen regional force(s) yet again.
The NPF leaders are likely to meet formally in Kohima and take a formal call for the merger, but they may want the NPF name to be retained.
An influential section of NDPP has, however, said that they are against the concept of “dismantling our party”.
“Moreover, allowing NPF to become a part of UDA has already given oxygen to the NPF. The NDPP cannot make further compromises”, a source said.
In New Delhi, speculation is rife on how the BJP central leadership will react to these developments.
The saffron party leaders were not quite happy with the going-ons in the State especially since the Oting massacre of innocent civilians.
As it is, the high command was also not happy about why NPF was allowed or invited to be part of the NDPP-BJP alliance.
Analysts say given BJP’s ‘Manipur model’, it is presumed that the saffron party will be ambitious to expand its base in Nagaland as well. It won 12 seats out of only 20 it contested in 2018.
The high strike rate ~ much better than NDPP and even NPF ~ suggested that its programmes and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image could be major factors in winning elections in Nagaland in 2023.
In Manipur, BJP has dumped allies NPP and NPF and named 60 candidates for the ensuing polls.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on the prospects of peace talks at one end and also the outcome of elections in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur.
A strong mandate in favour of BJP in these two Sates will give the Central Government more confidence to work both politically and at the administrative front.