Nagaland’s former Chief Minister and NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio, BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav along with other candidates of the BJP-NDPP alliance on Sunday met Nagaland Governor PB Acharya at the Raj Bhawan in Kohima to stake claim to form government.
In the Nagaland Assembly poll 2018 results, declared on Saturday, the Bharatiya Janata Party won 12 seats, its ally Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) won 16 seats, Naga Peoples Front 27, Janata Dal (United) 1, National People’s Party (NPP) 2 and Independent won 1 seat in 59 constituencies of the 60-member State Assembly. Earlier, Neiphiu Rio won the Northern Angami II seat uncontested.
After the poll results declared on Saturday, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) emerged as the single largest party in Nagaland winning 27 seats and its chief ministerial candidate TR Zeliang hoped to form government with its old ally BJP, the saffron party but the BJP which formed pre-poll alliance with the Rio-led NDPP, is now gearing up to form a coalition government in Nagaland.
With independent candidate Tongpang Ozukum and Janata Dal (United) Nagaland reportedly deciding to help the BJP reach the 31 mark in the 60-member Assembly, now there is no hurdle left for the BJP to form government in the State.
Interestingly, the NDPP has gained one more seat after the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday reversed the result of the Tenning Assembly constituency which was earlier declared to have won by the NPF candidate.
An order signed on Sunday by EC Secretary Arvind Kumar said a tabulation error made by the Returning Officer on Saturday led to the declaration of NR Zeliang of the NPF as the winner of the Tenning constituency instead of Namri Nchang of the NDPP.
This year’s polls, the vote share of the NPF is 38.8 pc, NDPP 25.2 pc, BJP 15.3 pc, JD(U) 4.5 pc, Independent 4.3 pc, INC 2.1 pc, NCP 1.1 pc and the vote share of NPP is 0.2 pc.
After the meeting with NDPP leader Rio, Governor Acharya said that the NDPP leader has the majority on his side and therefore he should form the government. The Nagaland Governor asked Rio to submit a list with signatures of all the MLAs who are supporting him by March 5.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs and BJP’s Nagaland in-charge Kiren Rijiju also made it clear that the BJP will form the next government in Nagaland with the help of other parties and indicated that the party’s erstwhile ally NPF may align with it.
The BJP has also confirmed that it will stand by the pre-poll alliance it had made with the NDPP. Ram Madhav said that since the alliance had obtained required numbers for a simple majority to form the government, the party would keep its commitments.
Soon after BJP-NDPP securing a total of 30 seats including the Northern Angami II seat won by Rio uncontested, Ram Madhav had tweeted, “In Nagaland NDPP-BJP alliance has secured 30 seats. With the support of 1 independent we are comfortably placed to form the government.”
It may be mentioned that NPP is already a partner of the NDA government.
With the NDPP-BJP alliance going to form government in Nagaland, giving final shape to the Framework Agreement which was signed between the NSCN-IM and the Central government will remain the major issue for the next government.