GUWAHATI: The fissures within the Bharatiya Janata Party in poll-bound Nagaland are out in the open even as differences cropped up following the alleged autocratic functioning style of the party State president Visasolie Lhoungu.
A group of BJP leaders in the State alleged that Lhoungu was acting like a leader of the regional Naga People’s Front (NPF).
These leaders on Wednesday held a meeting where they reiterated the demand for Lhoungu’s removal.
“We want him removed at the earliest. After he became the State president, he had arbitrarily axed the party presidents of all 11 districts, nine State office bearers besides over 40 State executive members. He took the actions without consulting any senior leaders,” a BJP leader said requesting not to be named.
“He (Lhoungu) is acting like a leader of NPF. Given his proximity to NPF and his actions, we often wonder if he is our president or the president of the regional party,” the leader said. Lhoungu was not available for comments. Calls made to his mobile phone went unanswered.
The miffed BJP leaders have decided not to allow the functioning of the party office in commercial hub Dimapur till Lhoungu is removed. Earlier, they submitted a memorandum to BJP national president Amit Shah with the demand to remove Lhoungu but there has not been any response so far.
The BJP is a partner of NPF and both are constituents of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN).
The DAN, which enjoys the support of all 60 members of the House, including that of eight Independent MLAs, has been in power since 2003. With 47 MLAs, the NPF calls the shots in the alliance. However, the recently-floated Democratic People’s Party (DPP) is likely to give it a run for its money in next year’s Assembly elections.
The DPP is perceived to be a brainchild of Lok Sabha member and three-time former chief minister Neiphiu Rio.