BJP makes NDPP its new ally, Congress appoints observers for Nagaland polls | Hindustan Times
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BJP makes NDPP its new ally, Congress appoints observers for Nagaland polls

BJP’s state media convener said the NDPP would contest 40 of the 60 seats in the Nagaland assembly while the BJP would field candidates in the remaining 20 seats.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2018 23:29 IST
HT Correspondent
PM Narendra Modi shakes hands with former Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio in New Delhi.
PM Narendra Modi shakes hands with former Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)

In a setback to poll boycott call, the BJP on Saturday decided to forge an alliance with newly floated Nationalist Democratic People’s Party (NDPP) dumping its 15-year-old ally Naga People’s Front (NPF) that rules the state. The Congress, too, appointed observers for the state polls slated for February 27.

On January 29, 11 major political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, had signed a declaration to boycott the Nagaland polls till the final agreement is reached over the state’s political issue.

However, the declaration fizzled out within a day with BJP backing out and a few tribal bodies such as Angami Public Organisaiton (APO) and Eastern Nagaland Public Organisation (ENPO) deciding not to impose the boycott in their respective regions.

Days after BJP’s state in charge Kiren Rijiju said the boycott was not a solution to the decades-old insurgency problem, the party announced the alliance with NDPP led by former chief minister Neiphiu Rio.

A decision to this effect was taken in New Delhi on Friday at a meeting between BJP president Amit Shah and Rio in the presence of BJP’s Nagaland president Visasolie Lhoungu, the party’s state media cell convener, K James Vizo said in Kohima.

Vizo said the NDPP would contest 40 of the 60 seats in the state assembly, while the BJP would field candidates in the remaining 20 seats. The BJP also released the names of its 20 candidates.

The BJP leaders of Nagaland are, however, unhappy with the alliance. They have written to party chief Amit Shah, expressing their resentment against the saffron party’s move. The letter was sent to Shah last night, soon after the agreement between the two parties was signed in Delhi.

“We are confident of achieving a resounding success across the state, much better than the NDPP... In this context, it is very likely that if the seat-sharing agreement is taken up officially, it will have a highly negative impact on the current status of the party in Nagaland,” the letter reads.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Saturday appointed a team of observers for the upcoming elections in Nagaland. The team will be headed by former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki. Former national minority commission member Captain Praveen Davar, Lok Sabha MP from Assam Gaurav Gogoi and former Assam minister Pradyut Bordoloi are the other observers.

The appointment of the team of observers is a clear indication that the Congress is willing to contest the assembly elections though no such announcement has been made. The move came after the BJP announced that it will fight the upcoming polls.

The process of filing nominations started on February 1 but till Friday no candidate has filed nomination.

(With agency inputs)