Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang today exuded confidence that the NPF will return to power and said the party has not shut doors to the BJP to return into the partnership after February 27 elections. He, however, ruled out any possibility of alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) even in the case of a hung Assembly. Interacting with reporters after launching campaign for the Naga People’s Front (NPF) Kohima division here, Zeliang said his party NPF and the National People’s Party (NPP) entered into an alliance agreement on Monday while things are also being worked out with the JD(U) to form the next government together.
The BJP has tied up with the newly-formed Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) led by former chief minister Neiphiu Rio. The BJP has fielded candidates in 20 seats while the NDPP candidates are fighting on the rest of the 40 seats. Rio had left the NPF to form the NDPP last year. “There will not be a hung Assembly, and even if it happens there is no possibility of the newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party coming together with the NPF,” Zeliang said.
Over the BJP, Zeliang said, “We have not closed the doors because our partnership still continues as presently also there are two ministers and one adviser to the chief minister of the BJP in the NPF-led DAN government”. “It is on their (BJP) request that we revoked the decision of severing ties, so our alliance continues and it is up to them to decide,” he said. “The door is open and unless they walk away from us, we will continue to have alliance,” Zeliang said.
Over Rio forming the NDPP, he said, “I am happy that he has gone away from us, because if we remain together we will always fight but now he is in a different camp.” NPF President Shurhozelie Liezietsu, who also addressed the gathering, said, Since creation of the state of Nagaland in 1963 and the inception of regional party in 1964, solution to the Naga political problem has been the top-most priority of the Naga People’s Front and it has remained unchanged for it.
The NPF has taken several initiatives to facilitate the peaceful resolution of the Naga political issue and shall continue to do so till we achieve its goal, he said. Liezietsu said it will not be difficult for the Nagas to differentiate and choose between the â€œCockâ€ and the â€œsaffron partyâ€ for their future. Now Naga people have to understand which party will be right for the state, he said. The NPF president also lambasted the NDPP, saying that its intention for sharing seats with the BJP is nothing but just to get into power at the cost of the Naga people.