Northeast News: Opposition less all-party UDA govt formed in Nagaland


Kohima, Sep 18, 2021, IANS

 In a significant political development, all the ruling and opposition parties in Nagaland, consequent upon their earlier agreement, on Saturday decided to form an all-party government named as United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said.

After the meeting of the leaders of the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party, opposition party Naga People's Front (NPF) and two Independent MLAs, the Chief Minister announced the formation of the UDA government.

He tweeted: "The nomenclature of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) for the opposition-less government in Nagaland has been unanimously resolved by the legislators and party leaders of the NDPP, BJP, NPF and Independent MLAs."

A statement signed by the leaders of all the parties said that the meeting of the legislators and party leaders of the NDPP, BJP, NPF and Independent MLAs was held at the state banquet hall in Kohima where it was unanimously resolved to adopt the nomenclature of UDA for the opposition less government in Nagaland.

The meeting unanimously resolved to reiterate the joint resolution between the three parties signed on August 11 and 13 to resolve the Naga political issue involving various outfits, including the NSCN (IM), the statement said.

Besides Rio, other leaders who signed the joint press declaration included Deputy Chief Minister and BJP's legislature party leader Y. Patton, NPF legislature party leader and outgoing opposition leader T.R. Zeliang, NDPP President Chingwang Konyak, NPF Secretary General Achumbemo Kikon, state BJP President Temjen Imna Along and Independent MLA Tongpang Ozukum.

When approached by the media, the Chief Minister did not specify the NPF MLAs to be accommodated in the new cabinet headed by him.

The 60-member Assembly has an effective strength of 59 after the death of an MLA.

The NPF is the single largest party with 25 seats, followed by the NDPP with 20 and the BJP with 12, while two are Independent MLAs.

The BJP was the ally of the NPF in Nagaland and neighbouring Manipur before choosing the NDPP as its partner before the 2018 Nagaland Assembly polls.

The ruling and opposition parties have been making hectic efforts for the past several months to form an all-party government in the northeastern state with an aim to take forward the Naga political issue between the Centre and Naga outfits and various other groups.

"We have come together under a common platform to resolve the long-awaited Naga political issue. We wish the Naga issue is settled before Christmas," Zeliang told the media.

The central leaders of the BJP, including party President J.P. Nadda, had recently in principle supported the move for an all-party government in Nagaland.

The latest political development comes after almost all the parties in the northeastern state came together following the formation of the Core Committee on Naga Political Issue (CCoNPI) led by Rio (convener) on June 16.

Nagaland Congress leaders said that the decision of the opposition NPF to join the Chief Minister Rio-led government "on the pretext of Naga political issue to converge into an opposition-less government" is an insult to the people of the state, as they fought the 2018 Assembly polls against the BJP.

The Congress in a statement also alleged that the main purpose for the political matrimony between the NPF and the ruling parties is to "raid the state exchequer and enjoy the perks of office while delaying the implementation of a Naga political solution".

The Central government has been separately holding peace talks with the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) and eight other outfits, which came together a few years ago under the banner of 'Naga National Political Groups' (NNPGs).

The NSCN-IM and other outfits entered into a ceasefire agreement with the government of India in 1997 and in the subsequent years and held a political dialogue since then.

The NSCN-IM, the dominant Naga group since August 1997, has held around 80 rounds of negotiations with the Centre.
 

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