The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took a dramatic U-turn within 24 hours with announcing the party’s decision to contest the upcoming elections in Nagaland.
The announcement came a day after BJP state executive council member, Kheto Sema, as the party’s representative signed the joint declaration along with other political parties assuring that the party will not give tickets or file nomination for the ensuing polls unless a solution to the vexed Naga problem is arrived at.
The party had also suspended Kheto Sema, the leader who had signed the joint declaration.
The decision came on the heels of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, who is the election in-charge of the party in the state, stated that elections are a constitutional process and the Central Government is bound by the Constitution.
Earlier on Tuesday, Nagaland Assembly Speaker Dr Imtiwapanag Aier accepted the resignation of 10 legislators of the Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF), the alliance partner of BJP who had resigned from the Assembly after announcement of the schedule for State Assembly elections.
Sources revealed these deserters are likely to join the new party – the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), formed by former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, now a Lok Sabha member.
Last week, Naga Hoho, the apex body of all Naga tribes, had called for a boycott of the Assembly elections in the state scheduled for February 27 and demanded that an amicable solution to the decades-old Naga problem be arrived at before holding polls.
Notably, the Narendra Modi government had signed a ‘Framework Agreement’ with Naga rebel groups in 2015 to find a solution to the Naga problem. However, the details of the agreement have been kept under wraps for more than two years now raising suspicion among the Naga political groups.
Even neighbouring states have been witnessing series of protests over the proposed Greater Nagalim.