Neiphiu Rio, Ram Madhav stake claim for new govt

BJP supporters celebrate the party’s victory in the Tripura Assembly polls in Dharmanagar on Saturday

BJP supporters celebrate the party’s victory in the Tripura Assembly polls in Dharmanagar on Saturday

Rio, accompanied by BJP leader Ram Madhav, had submitted letters of support to the governor during the day but Acharya is seeking documents signed by the respective party presidents.

State Governor P B Acharya gave both the leaders 48 hours time to submit the signatures of the MLAs supporting them.

"... BJP has already extended its support to Neiphiu Rio for forming the next government in Nagaland", Sarma categorically adding that he had discussed in detail "architecture of the government, how NDPP and BJP will be represented in the new government, and how we can ensure stability in Nagaland, and we arrived at some final conclusion".

Rio handed over the letters of support from the BJP as well as JD (U) and Independent legislators to the Nagaland Governor PB Acharya.

With 30 elected representatives on its own, the alliance was boosted by the joining of newly elected Janata Dal (United) legislator G Kaito Aye and newly elected Independent legislator Tongpang Ozukum, taking the total figure pass the halfway mark to 32.

N.R. Zeliang is the brother of Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang, who has won the adjoining Peren Assembly constituency.

Asked how this BJP alliance would be different from the ruling DAN alliance, that had been in power for three consecutive terms, he said, "You will see more accountability with the government since the majority of the voters being below the age of 35, who are more aware of their rights". While BJP contested 20 seats, the rest of the 40 candidates were fielded by NDPP.

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Kikon said the incumbent Chief Minister Zeliang was in close touch with the BJP high command as the party wanted to continue the alliance "in the interest of the peace process".

Sarma was also confident that the long protracted Naga political issue would be solved with a stable government in the state.

He said the mandate of the Naga people in electing 27 NPF candidates is a clear indication that Nagas prefer and support the leadership of Zeliang over Neiphiu Rio as the NDPP had won only 17 seats.

Zeliang has not resigned yet, with the NPF claiming that the party would form the government again with the support of the BJP. The outcome, people of the state feel, would be a "defining moment" for both the NPF and the NDPP-BJP combine.

"We will go with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP)", Sarma said.

While TR Zeliang had informed the Nagaland Governor of his decision to meet BJP leaders in Delhi, it was learnt earlier this morning that BJP leaders had refused to talk to him. Efforts of reporters to reach Zeliang were unsuccessful.

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