NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma tells Nagaland CM T R Zeliang to quit gracefully

Respect democratic norms and resign as BJP-NDPP combine will form government, saffron party tells Zeliang

Published: 06th March 2018 02:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2018 05:09 AM   |  A+A-

Himanta Biswa Sarma (File | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The BJP on Monday appealed to beleaguered Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang to resign to pave the way for the formation of the next government.The appeal was made by Assam minister and convenor of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma in the wake of the stalemate arising out of Zeliang’s refusal to quit.

“The BJP-Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) combine has the support of majority MLAs and it has already staked claim to form the government. So, Mr T R Zeliang should respect the democratic norms and resign,” Sarma told reporters in Kohima.On Sunday, Zeliang was given 48 hours by Governor P B Acharya to submit a letter of support from BJP chief Amit Shah to his Naga People’s Front (NPF). During his meeting with the governor, Zeliang had claimed that the NPF’s 15-year alliance with the BJP was still on. He cited two BJP ministers’ continuance in his government. One of them, P Paiwang Konyak, resigned on Monday while the other had lost the election.

Asked if the BJP’s alliance with the NPF is still on, Sarma said: “There’s no alliance”. He said there was no question of the BJP going back to the NPF. He said the NDPP would be a member of the NEDA and the National Democratic Alliance.Sarma also stated that the combination of Narendra Modi government at the centre and the Neiphiu Rio government in Nagaland would help resolve the protracted Naga political problem vis-a-vis Naga insurgency issue early.

Asked if the snub to the NPF will create a problem for the BJP government in Manipur where the party from Nagaland with four MLAs is a constituent, he said, “The NPF is registered as a different entity there”.It may be recalled the BJP-NDPP combine had met the governor on Sunday and staked claim to form the government. The formation had submitted a list of 32 MLAs in the 60-member House but the governor advised it to come with a fresh list containing the signatures of all 32 MLAs.

Meanwhile, Rio will be sworn in as chief minister on March 8. On the same day, Biplab Kumar Deb of the BJP is likely to be sworn in as chief minister of Tripura. In Meghalaya, the formation of the non-Congress and National People’s Party (NPP)-led government will take place on Tuesday with the swearing in of NPP president Conrad Sangma as chief minister.

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