Will Nagaland assembly run without opposition? Naga People's Front may join ruling coalition to escalate Naga issue
This will be the second time after 2015 that Nagaland can have a government without opposition. The Naga People's Front (NPF), the main opposition party in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly, has offered to join the Neiphiu Rio-led People's Democratic Alliance (PDA).
NPF general secretary Achumbemo Kikon said, “We are looking at forming a non-opposition government to take forward the Naga political issue at the earliest. All 25 MLAs of NPF will join the alliance. He said that the question of merger of parties has not arisen yet. For now, we are just joining the alliance.
In fact, after the death of a Nagaland legislator earlier this month, the 60-member Assembly currently has 59 members. At the same time, NPF has the maximum number of 21 MLAs. But now the NPF has expressed its desire to join the People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) led by Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio. NPF MLAs will join the alliance in about a week
Earlier in 2015, when the NPF was in power with TR Zeliang as the chief minister, eight Congress MLAs left the assembly opposition and joined the ruling coalition. According to government sources, a meeting was held a few months ago between Union Home Minister Amit Shah, CM Rio and Leader of the Opposition Zeliang on the Naga peace issue, in which Shah asked the parties to work together to facilitate the peace process.
Official letter handed over to Chief Minister
On the condition of anonymity, a government source said that a few days ago, the NPF handed over an official letter to the Chief Minister, stating that they want to be part of the alliance aimed at speeding up the peace process. Following which, in a statement on Tuesday, the NDPP said that they "welcome the resolution of the NPF legislature for unity" among the members of the assembly. The NDPP has also said that the BJP will be consulted before taking this matter forward. BJP's Nagaland in-charge Nalin Kohli arrived in Nagaland on Wednesday to discuss the developments.
25 MLAs in NPF in the assembly
The ruling PDA in the 60-seat assembly has 34 members, supported by the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) with 20 MLAs, 12 by the Bharatiya Janata Party and 2 by independents. At the same time, there are 25 MLAs in NPF, while one seat is vacant after the death of one MLA.