NPF consolidates its strength in Nagaland | india | Hindustan Times
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NPF consolidates its strength in Nagaland

The regional forces might have bit the dust in other parts of the county but the ruling Nagaland Peoples Front (NPF) has further consolidated its stronghold in this north-eastern state.

india Updated: May 17, 2009 18:36 IST

The regional forces might have bit the dust in other parts of the county but the ruling Nagaland Peoples Front (NPF) has further consolidated its stronghold in this north-eastern state.

With NPF retaining the lone LS seat with a record victory margin of 4.83 lakh votes and wresting all the four assembly segments from the opposition Congress, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has emerged as the undisputed leader in the state.

Rio successfully projected the peace initiatives and development work done by his government in the past six years in the state.

He also actively supported and facilitated the peace, unity and re-conciliation initiatives undertaken by churches, tribal councils and civil society organizations which paid good dividends to the political fortune of the regional party in the state.

Secondly, the chief minister very effectively and successfully capitalized on the organizational weakness of the Pradesh Congress in the run-up to the election, projecting the opposition as a divided house.

The poll results showed that the NPF had done much better in all the 11 districts, including the Congress traditional stronghold, than in the 2004 election. The regional party had won the 2004 poll with a margin of 4.52 lakh votes but this time the margin increased to 4.83 lakh.

Voters turn out registered over 90 per cent in both the elections.

Besides the result of Parliamentary poll, the wresting of four assembly seats from Congress strengthened the stability factor and provided more leverage to the NPF in the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland Government (DAN) where BJP and NCP with two MLAs each are partners.

With four new legislators, who were earlier Congress MLAs but resigned from the party in February, the NPFs tally in the 60-member assembly rose from 26 to 30 and the ruling alliance members went up to 40 with six independents within its fold.

Political observers pointed out that even as the UPA returned to power at the Centre, the Rio government would complete its full term as it was well neigh impossible for the Congress to topple the DAN regime with only 20 MLAs in its fold.

The chief minister, who congratulated both Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh for the UPAs impressive performance in the election, categorically stated that the regional party had no problem with AICC leadership but Congress leaders in Nagaland were its main political enemy.