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BJP joins hands with NDPP for Nagaland Assembly poll

NDPP would contest 40 of the 60 seats in the state assembly while the BJP would field candidates in the remain 20 seats.

Published: 03rd February 2018 05:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2018 06:28 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The BJP ditched its long-time ally Naga People’s Front (NPF) in poll-bound Nagaland to join hands with the newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). Union minister Kiren Rijiju said the alliance with the NPF did not happen due to differences over the seat-sharing arrangement.  

“The BJP hasn’t dumped the NPF, and we still share good ties with each other. We couldn’t come together due to differences over seat sharing. So, we tied up with the NDPP,” he said at a press conference on Saturday.  “The NPF hasn’t turned our enemy overnight just because we couldn’t stitch an alliance. It will remain our friend,”

Three-time former chief minister Neiphiu Rio were among the NDPP leaders present at the press conference.  Floated in February last year, the NDPP is the brainchild of Rio.    

Rijiju ruled out a post-poll alliance with the NPF, saying the BJP and the NDPP would get the majority.  The BJP will contest in 20 assembly seats, while the remaining 40 go to the NDPP.

The BJP candidates will start filing their nominations from Monday. No candidate has filed nominations till Saturday, Nagaland’s chief electoral officer Abhijit Sinha said. February 7 is the last date for the filing of nominations.

Rijiju contended that a majority of organisations have come out in support of the elections.  “We are not undermining the sentiments expressed by some organisations. The polls will help facilitate solution to the protracted Naga political problem. We are committed to the issue.”

The Union minister was optimistic about the peaceful conduct of the polls.

“We have conveyed our message to all the (insurgent) groups not to create any trouble and maintain the ceasefire. Any violation will not be viewed positively. We are in favour of an early solution to the problem in the interests of the Nagas.”  At the same time, he refused to give any timeframe saying the issue was very complex.



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