Rio passes first hurdle

Rio passes first hurdle

Dimapur, March 5: Former chief minister and Lok Sabha MP, Neiphiu Rio may be able to catch forty winks on Monday night.
Rio and his supporters will have hoped that today’s visit by BJP’s Northeast pointman Himanta Biswa Sarma’s visit was the final obstacle crossed. The BJP has finally broken away from the 15-year relationship with the Naga People’s Front and found a new regional party, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
“The Prime Minister is expected. The date for swearing-in would be finalised tomorrow,” Rio, apparently only partially relieved, told Nagaland Page on Monday evening. The NDPP leader was perhaps hoping that the continuous flow of congratulatory messages would not have to be recalled. After all, the NPF is still trying to warm up to “alien party” BJP.
T.R Zeliang was expected to meet Biswa Sarma later on Monday evening, but it could not be confirmed if the meeting took place. Signs are that the BJP has finally broken away from their ally who is also a coalition partner in Manipur.
Over the last few days, perhaps only the BJP leaders in the state were able to sleep peacefully, kingmakers that they became with 12 seats or a fourth of the House in their kitty. Zeliang has been planning to meet the top leadership of the BJP in vain and remained in state capital Kohima today and hoped to meet Biswa Sarma.
For Rio, things may come a full circle. In September 2002, S.C Jamir’s blue-eyed boy quit the Congress and joined the Naga People’s Council later rechristened NPF its rooster heralding a new political future. The Young Turk went on to be CM three times before trying a hand at Delhi.
If Rio is indeed sworn in as CM later this week, it will be against huge odds. But then again, the political battles may not be over yet and political stability for the Nagas may remain a chimera. (Page News Service)