In a jolt to opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Nagaland, its Arkakong Assembly constituency unit merged with the BJP.
The merger took place during a BJP membership drive programme at Chuchuyimlang village in Mokokchung district on Saturday, sources said.
Former minister Nuklutoshi Longkumer, who began his political career as a primary member of BJP in 1998 and contested the state Assembly poll on a BJP ticket for the first time in 2003, led the NPF unit in merging with the saffron party.
Nagaland BJP president and higher and technical and tribal affairs minister Temjen Imna Along, among other state and district BJP leaders, attended the merger event.
Along termed the merger as a historic occasion for Nagaland BJP and thanked the Arkakong Assembly constituency NPF unit for merging with the party.
He assured the people of the constituency that they would get their due share of all the schemes and pragrammes launched by the NDA government at the Centre.
The state BJP chief claimed that the BJP is the only party that gets the job done and that its goal is to uplift the poor and the underprivileged.
On the Naga political problem, Along said it was only after the BJP came to power at the Centre that the issue was back on track and the August 3, 2015 framework agreement with the NSCN (IM) was signed.
Longkumer said the merger felt like homecoming.
“I was like a lost son but now I am coming back home after 15 years,” he said as he thanked the state BJP executive members for allowing him and his cronies into the BJP fold.
President of the NPF unit Toshimeren said the decision to merge with the BJP was not abrupt.
“We held meetings with all the party members thrice and finally decided to join the BJP on July 12,” he said.
Toshimeren added the decision to join the national party was also because of the fact that it is in power at the Centre.
“With the party in power, the people of the state have hopes of seeing good prospects in future,” he said.
BJP MLA and adviser to treasuries and accounts and national highways departments, Longrineken, who also attended the merger ceremony, took a dig at the NPF, alleging that the party has lost its ideology.
He also denounced the “rumours” that those who join the BJP would become Hindus as blatant lies.
“I am a devoted Christian and a true Naga and will always be,” he said.
The legislator urged the people to present a united front for progress and development of the state.