Can tie-up with BJP put Rio back in the saddle?

Posted March 06, 2018

Governor Acharya told The Telegraph on Sunday night in a text: "I have requested Mr Rio to give me the letters of support signed by all 18 elected NDPP MLAs".

BJP's ally at the national level and Bihar, JD-U, dumped its pre-poll ally NPF and chose to "support the BJP" in the formation of a stable government in Nagaland.

Former chief minister Neiphiu Rio was already declared victor after his rival withdrew his nomination from the Northern Angami-II assembly seat in Kohima district last month.

Addressing a press conference at Hotel Vivor, where MLAs of NDPP have been camping since the fractured verdict hit the state, Sarma confirmed that BJP will go with its pre-poll alliance partner to form the government under the chief ministership of Neiphiu Rio.

Rio had met the governor along with NDPP president Chingwang Konyak, BJP state president Visasolie Lhoungu, the JD (U) MLA and the Independent legislator, he said.

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According to NDPP sources, the lone successful Independent candidate, Tongpang Ozukum from Angetyongpang constituency in Mokokchung district, has pledged support to the NDPP-BJP alliance and to the leadership of Mr Rio.

Meanwhile, former Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio stated, "We have two topmost priorities". Though the NPF led in the beginning, it was the NDPP-BJP alliance which later surged ahead.

However, the BJP was the first to announce its list of candidates followed by the Congress and the newly-floated NDPP, which Rio had joined after quitting NPF.

He hoped that a new Government will be installed in the State at the earliest.

The Naga People's Front (NPF) has taken umbrage to news reports in the electronic and the print media about Chief Minister TR Zeliang's refusal to step down. "We now have a comfortable majority and staked claim to form the government", he said.

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On the eve of counting day, the NPF that went ballistic against the BJP and tried to brand it an "alien" and "Hindutva party", changed tack and tried to build bridges. BJP leaders are likely to meet the governor on Tuesday and submit a letter expressing support to the NDPP.

Threats by the NPF to withdraw support from the Manipur government - NPF has four legislators - also failed to persuade BJP to shift allegiance.

Zeliang also informed Acharya that within 2 days time he may go to Delhi and discuss with the BJP central leaders.

"Zeliang is also right and let the letter come and let him be convinced whether the BJP is with him or not". Efforts of reporters to reach Zeliang were unsuccessful.

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