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TR Zeliang elected new UDA Chairman

  • Another NPF MLA to get Cabinet berth today
  • Rio to campaign for NPF in Manipur

KOHIMA, FEBRUARY 8: The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ~ consisting of the NDPP, BJP, NPF and the lone Independent MLA ~ on Tuesday decided to extend two berths to Naga People’s Front (NPF), the latest entrant forming the opposition-less Government in Nagaland.
The portfolios are UDA Chairman with Cabinet status to NPF legislature party leader TR Zeliang and Cabinet Minister to another MLA.
The decision to this effect was taken during the Joint Parliamentary meeting of the UDA, said Minister for Planning & Coordination, Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs, Neiba Kronu.
The meeting was held under Kronu’s chairmanship at the State Banquet Hall in CM’s official residential complex here today.
In July 2021, the opposition NPF proposed for an all-party Government in order to pursue the Naga political issue, which was accepted by the then People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA).
Kronu said in today’s meeting the members decided to unanimously elected Zeliang with a show of hands as the new Chairman of UDA and swear-in another NPF legislator as Cabinet Minister tomorrow at 9 a.m., in Raj Bhavan. He, however, did not disclose the name of the NPF legislator to be included in the Cabinet saying that it will be the prerogative of the Chief Minister.
Asked if it would affect the current Cabinet seat sharing between the NDPP and BJP, Kronu said the appointment will be made against the vacant Cabinet berth while other berths will remain intact.
Following the demise of then Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change CM Chang of the NDPP in October 2020, no fresh appointment was made.
The newly inducted Minister will hold office for a year before the State go for poll in early 2023. The NPF party has a handful of former Ministers such as Imkong L Imchen, Kuzoluzho Nienu, Yitachu, Chotisuh Sazo, Y Vikheho Swu, among others. But it remains to be seen whether the CM and UDA Chairman would search further from among the MLAs of the Eastern Nagaland area.
Out of 24 MLAs, the NPF has at least 7 strayed MLAs, who had voted for the NDPP candidate in the last Lok Sabha election.
Meanwhile, BJP National spokesperson and Advisor in UDA Government, Mmhonlumo Kikon, while replying to a query if the party was comfortable with the arrangement said, “We (BJP) were present in the meeting when the decision was taken and such issue does not arise as it was only a simple exercise with CM Rio vacating the post of UDA chairmanship and Zeliang being elected as the new Chairman”.
Asked if Rio would be campaigning in Manipur polls to campaign for NPF candidates, Kronu said the meeting decided that Rio will go and campaign for the NPF candidates in the ensuing Manipur polls. Nonetheless, he refrained from commenting if he would also campaign for BJP.
NPF and BJP are allies in Manipur but pitted against each other in the forthcoming poll.
Recently the Cock party had asked regional parties to work together and even requested Rio, who is from the NDPP party, to campaign for them in Manipur. A source said even the BJP had requested the CM to campaign for them.
With this new political arrangement, the State could soon face a new flutter of political wind. This could even see alignments and realignments of political parties.
(Page News Service)