BJP president Amit Shah has vetoed the move of ally Naga People’s Front (NPF) to have BJP and Congress legislators sailing together in the Nagaland government boat.
Shah is on his maiden tour to the eight-state northeast, not a happy hunting ground for the BJP. The first of this three-phase tour across Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur ended Saturday.
“There can never be the BJP and the Congress in the same camp or in the same government,” a statement issued by the Nagaland BJP unit quoted Shah as saying at the party office in Chumukedima near the state’s commercial hub Dimapur.
Shah was reacting to Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang’s plea to consider the “ground reality” in the state and support efforts for an all-party government.
Zeliang is under pressure to accommodate in his government some of the eight Congress legislators who had voted for him during a trial of strength in February. Four BJP legislators also lent their support, enabling him to win the trust vote in the 60-member assembly.
Trouble for Zeliang began in December after half of the 38 NPF legislators, allegedly backed by his predecessor Neiphiu Rio, revolted and sought a change of leadership.
Rio had quit as chief minister to contest and win the Lok Sabha polls last year. He was reportedly angling to be a minister in Narendra Modi’s NDA government, and turned his attention to the state after failing to get a berth.
Zeliang’s group, however, has not given up hope of BJP and Congress being a part of his government. “We want BJP to understand the Nagaland context (peace process with National Socialist Council of Nagaland is in a limbo) If Congress comes, BJP should not walk away and if BJP comes, Congress should not walk away,” the chief minister told Nagaland Post on Friday.