The Bharatiya Janata Party has sidelined its long-time ally Naga People’s Front and sealed a seat-sharing arrangement with a Nationalist Democractic Progressive Party (NDPP) for the February 27 Assembly elections in Nagaland.
“The BJP will be contesting the Nagaland Assembly elections in alliance with the NDPP, and we are confident that together we will form the next government,” Union Minister of State for home Kiren Rijiju, accompanied by Mr. Rio, said here on Saturday.
“The NPF has been one of the oldest members of the NDA, since 2003, and though the two parties have been ruling partners, they have never had a pre-poll alliance. This time too, we discussed the possibility of an electoral tie-up, but Zeliang and Shurhozelie declined,” Mr. Rijiju said.
“Only elections can bring a solution, and we have conveyed to the underground groups that there is no point of vitiating the atmosphere when talks are on. We have told them not to create trouble during the polls and not to violate the ceasefire ground rules,” Mr. Rijiju said.
Mr. Rio appealed to the people of Nagaland to support the democratic process so that the “governance system can be restored and corruption kept in check.” He said: “We will never come in the way of a solution that is honourable.” (Agencies)