Will Rio be a puppet CM of BJP?

Will Rio be a puppet CM of BJP?
Neiphiu Rio (file photo)

Kohima, March 7: If T R Zeliang was a backbench leader then Neiphiu Rio is likely to be a remote controlled Chief Minister going by all indications and euphoria in the BJP camp.
The incoming Chief Minister, Rio has crossed one hurdle, but all appears not well as the Hindu nationalist party might try to remote control the former. Can Rio remain a puppet Chief Minister and let the saffron manoeuvre the government to serve its alleged hidden agenda? Only time will tell.
Naga People’s Front (NPF) said Rio will be puppet of BJP and that he has to dance to their tune. “He (Rio) is at the mercy of the BJP,” a senior Cock spin-doctor said. But BJP refused to comment.
The Angami Baptist Church Council (ABCC) has blamed Angami leaders for the entry of a saffron party in the state which would pave the way for the BJP and Hindu organisations to further their hidden agenda. “While saying that, I regret that the Angamis played a major role in allowing entry to them and their political wing BJP into Nagaland. From decades of quiet connivance to holding active office in its political party, Angamis’ leadership is undeniable,” said Executive Director ABCC, Rev. Dr. V. Atsi Dolie when the NDPP inked an agreement with the BJP last month.
“Today the proponents of Hindutva are audaciously challenging our Christian faith, culture and values in variety of ways for which we are largely responsible. As an Angami I say sorry to the people of Nagaland for our regrettable roles,” the Baptist clergyman added. But the veto of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) and the ABCC went to the deaf ears of Naga electorates. However, the very purpose of the saffron party has been achieved and that new Chief Minister, Rio would have to do lots of homework, so that he does not get the anti-Christian tag.
The foremost task before the NDPP Chief Minister is to increase the number of his party to become comfortable and for that he has to split his old party NPF, which is not an easy task. But the saffron leaders will also not remain a mute spectator. Any slight wrong move would cost Rio’s chair as BJP is the kingmaker and Zeliang will continue to open door for the BJP. There is no heady day for Rio till BJP remote controls him.
“The Nation under the leadership of Shri. Narendra Modi is on a new developmental trajectory. Nagaland cannot be left out of the vigorous developmental processes,” Zeliang said after he submitted his resignation yesterday. The statement is a clear indication of possibility of future alliance with the saffron party. He has been soft towards the BJP during the campaign trail even as the party President, Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu was attacking the BJP, terming them as outside force.
NPF has remained tight-lipped why it could not share the seats with the BJP, but according to sources there was conflicting opinion among the party leadership.
Now the foremost job for Zeliang is how to flock his impatient sheep so that NDPP and BJP do not steal them. He has to wait and watch the twist and turns in the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government before taking any hasty decision, even if he is given a chance to join the saffron brigade with his loyalists.
Certainly NPF is in a precarious position now, after all in Nagaland elections are costly, and who wants to be in the Opposition Bench? But the NPF would have to be patient as Rio too is not comfortable and BJP is a kingmaker. And NPF having 26 Members in the House of 60 cannot be underestimated.
Perhaps it remains to be seen how long Rio would sing the Sangh Chorus before the purpose of the BJP is unmasked. .
The electorates also would have to wait and watch for the implementation of perfumed words of the BJP before the polls. (Page News Service)