Guwahati: The BJP in Nagaland is under tremendous pressure from within to withdraw its support to the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government.
A large section of BJP workers is miffed over alleged rampant corruption in the TR Zeliang government and wants the party to sever its 13-year old ties with DAN. They are also angry over the unceremonious removal of party MLA, Mmhonlumo Kikon, as parliamentary secretary.
Kikon, the activist-turned-politician, was removed by the chief minister earlier this month for his alleged anti-alliance activities.
That all is not well within the alliance was evident when the BJP petitioned the state’s Governor PB Acharya on November 10 seeking his intervention to check corruption in the government.
DAN accounts for all 60 members in the Nagaland House. With 49 MLAs, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) calls the shots in the alliance and the government. The BJP has four MLAs while there are seven independents.
According to BJP insiders, the state leadership and the four party MLAs will meet next week and discuss the issue of alliance.
“Almost 90% of our workers want the party to pull out of the government. There are primarily two reasons for it. First, they are not happy over rampant corruption in the government. Secondly, they are angry over the step-motherly treatment being meted out to our party,” a BJP leader told Express from Nagaland requesting anonymity.
Alleging that state president, Visasolie Lhoungu, was acting in the interests of NPF, he said, “If he (Lhoungu) continues to behave like this, he may be compelled to step down”.
Lhoungu claimed that there was no immediate threat to BJP’s ties with the ruling alliance.
“The charge that I am hobnobbing with NPF is baseless. I’m not siding with NPF or any other party. Our MLAs are there in the government. So, how can I take a decision without their consent? He argued.
“The party workers may say anything but that cannot be final. We are still a partner of the coalition and as such, it is our duty to protect the government,” he signed off.
The DAN has been in power since 2003. The Christian-majority Nagaland is the first state in the Northeast where the BJP managed to do well in Assembly elections. The party is an ally in the coalition governments in Assam and Arunachal and has two MLAs in Manipur.