ARENJUNGLA KICHU | MOKOKCHUNG | MARCH 8
With all other political parties in the newly elected 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly, including the NPF, NPP, NCP, Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), Republican Party of India (Athwale), Janata Dal (United), and Independents extending their support to the NDPP-BJP government, the state appears to be moving towards another Opposition-less government similar to the one that was formed in 2015 and 2021.
Neither the NDPP nor the BJP have officially announced whether they would be including the other parties in their alliance government. Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio informed the media on Tuesday that this question would be deliberated on by the new Cabinet. However, his deputy Patton on Wednesday said that the state “may have an opposition-less government” even though the NDPP-BJP has a “comfortable” 37 seats in the house of 60.
JD (U) dissolves its Nagaland state committee; NSN Lotha confirms
Hours after the Janata Dal (United) Nagaland president Senchumo NSN Lotha and its lone MLA Jwenga Seb submitted a letter of support to the NDPP-BJP government on Wednesday in Kohima, Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) dissolved its Nagaland state committee with immediate effect.
The JD (U) national general secretary and party’s in-charge for northeastern estates Afaque Ahmad Khan in a statement said that the ‘letter of support to the chief minister of Nagaland’ given by the Nagaland state president was done without consulting the Central party leadership.
“It’s a case of high indiscipline and arbitrary. So, the party has dissolved the Nagaland state committee with immediate effect,” the statement read.
Confirming that the Janata Dal (United) Nagaland has been dissolved, NSN told Mokokchung Times that the decision was taken by the Central party in consultation with the State President.
“I actually have tendered my resignation on moral grounds because of the poor performance of the party,” he said.
Speaking on why JD (U) has extended their support to NDPP-BJP, he said it was because of “local issues” primarily the Naga political issue.
“Naga political solution is far more superior to any other and JD (U) has to also accept this fact,” he said, adding that the primary issue, according to him, is to solve Naga political issues which must be kept as a priority.
He believes that in politics everything is possible as long as the mandate of the people so desired is fulfilled in any ways.
Speaking on whether he believes that being ‘opposition-less’ is detrimental to democracy, he agreed that democracy was incomplete without a conscious opposition; however, he added, “All parties have to take a call on certain primary issues and at the moment, all political parties feel that opposition-less is the answer.”
On being questioned about how being in opposition will make the Naga political solution difficult to find, he stated, “As a human being if you differ in one issue, naturally there will always be an argument which might often lead to personalization.”
“If you differ critically on one issue, it is difficult to agree on many other issues,” he remarked, adding that although opposition-less is not the answer, “it is a way forward to solution.”
NPP a natural ally of NDPP-BJP by default: Andrew Ahoto
Talking to Mokokchung Times, the NPP Nagaland president, Andrew Ahoto said that the party is a natural ally of the NDPP-BJP alliance because the party comes under the umbrella of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
The Bharatiya Janata Party created the NEDA political coalition on May 24, 2016. The new political front’s goal was to preserve the interests of the people in the region while also unifying non-Congress parties in Northeast India. Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma is the convener of NEDA.
“We are part of NEDA, we are part of NDA in the centre, and we are allied partners by default,” he explained.
Speaking of the “opposition-less’ government,” he stated that this time would rely heavily on new faces and freshly elected representatives.
“I feel that there will be a mindset of change with new prospects,” he said, adding that effective governance has a lot to do with whether or not individuals would follow their manifestos.
He also recognized that opposition is necessary in a democracy for structured criticism, checks and balances, and improved governance.
When asked if he would like to be on the opposition bench if given the choice, he responded he didn’t know since it was not for him to decide but for the party in the centre to decide.
Speaking on the party’s overall performance in the recently concluded election, he said, “It is good, we could have done much better, had some hiccups here and there but it is okay, we learn from experience.”
NPF extends support to NDPP-BJP Government formation
In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, authorized by NPF President Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu, the Working President, NPF’s Central HQ, Kohima congratulated and extended their support for the formation of the New Government. The letter was dated March 4, but appeared in the public domain on March 8.
This decision, according to the letter, was arrived at to collectively pursue an ‘honorable, acceptable and inclusive solution’ to the protracted Naga political issue which the party said was reflected in its manifesto.
Sharad Pawar’s NCP decides not to sit in Opposition
Although the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is one of the major rivals of the BJP in Maharashtra and other regions across India, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has accepted the proposal of the party’s Nagaland MLAs to join the Neiphiu Rio government and have decided not to play the role of opposition in Nagaland.
However, whether NCP will be a part of the government or will support the government from outside is yet to be clarified.
The NCP showed the best performance among the opposition parties, winning seven of the 12 seats it contested in the recently held assembly elections and has the numbers to claim the Leader of the Opposition position. However, during the Nagaland trip of the party’s Northeast in-charge Narendra Verma last week, the party’s MLAs informed him that they want to join the government.
During the first meeting of NCP’s Nagaland legislature party on March 4 in Kohima, Er Picto Shohe was elected to be the Leader of the NCP Legislature Party, P Longon as Dy. Leader of the NCP Legislature Party, Namri Nchang as Chief Whip, Y Mhonbemo Humtsoe as Whip and S Toiho Yeptho as the spokesperson, the NCP stated in a press release.
There was also a discussion on whether the party should be a part of the government or it will play the role of main opposition party.
“The local newly elected MLAs and the NCP local unit of Nagaland was of the opinion that we must be part of government which is going to be headed by Mr N Rio, Chief of NDPP and Chief Minister of Nagaland in the larger interest of the State of Nagaland and our own good relationship with Mr N Rio,” the release stated.
This decision, according to the release, was left to party supremo Sharad Pawar to decide who on Tuesday, after listening to the party’s Northeast in-charge, took the decision to accept the leadership of Neiphiu Rio “in the larger interest of Nagaland.”
On Wednesday, Verma announced that party supremo Sharad Pawar had decided to approve of their support to the NDPP-BJP government.
“And subsequently he also cleared the proposed list of NCP Legislature party and his team,” the release stated.