Kohima, Jan 24: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Tuesday decided not to break their alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The two parties will continue with the alliance for the Nagaland Assembly Election 2018, scheduled for February 27. The NPF had decided to end the alliance after Shurhozelie and chief minister TR Zeliang patched up in December 2017. Also Read - Just Like Aadhaar, Voter ID Cards to go Digital Before Assembly Elections in 5 States Next Year: Report
The central executive committee of the NPF met on Tuesday to review their earlier decision of severing ties with the BJP. The decision to continue ties with the BJP was taken considering the “urgency to create a congenial atmosphere for the ongoing political dialogue between the Government of India and the Naga National Workers (NSCN-IM/NNPGs) for (a) political solution.” Also Read - Voter ID Can be Availed in a Coloured Format Now | Here's How
Speaking about the decision, Sebastian Zumvü, member of the NPF central executive committee, said, “Considering that the Naga peace process is at a crucial stage, we felt it would be good for the Nagas if (a) cordial relationship is maintained with (the) political party in power at the Centre.” Also Read - Election Commission to Address Presser at 1:30 PM Amid Bihar Vote Counting | Here's What to Expect
Zumvü added that it will help in improving the bargaining chances of the Naga People’s Front. On being asked why there were talks of breaking the alliance with the BJP, he said that it was to safeguard the interest of the people. “At that time we had been deprived of our constitutional rights with the active support of the BJP,” he was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
Earlier in January, Nagaland BJP campaign committee in-charge had met NPF President Shurhozelie Liezietsu to discuss seat-sharing ahead of the Nagaland Assembly Election 2018 but the leader remained non-committal. However, many in the BJP believe that the party has fewer chances of striking a deal with NPF with Shurhozelie still presiding over the authority.
BJP sources said that they are aware of the recent developments but would take a decision only after meeting the Nagaland chief minister, expected to reach New Delhi on Wednesday.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on January 18 announced the poll dates for Nagaland Assembly Election 2018. The voting for the legislative assembly election to elect members of the 60 constituencies in Nagaland will be held on February 27 and the counting of votes has been scheduled for March 3. The election procedure will be completed on March 5.