Back to numbers game

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/8/2019 10:59:29 AM IST

 Nagaland’s infamous political skulduggery has set itself deep into the polity where ideology and personal integrity have long become extinct from the political lexicon. The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has come out with an open statement, which inadvertently admitted that some of its MLAs were being approached/poached by the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party(NDPP). The NPF has 26 MLAs presently and as per its own admission/allegation, some six to seven of them were being approached/poached by the NDPP. The NDPP has 18 members and if there are six from NPF defecting to the party, then these will attract the provisions of the Anti Defection Law. It requires at least 18 NPF members to cause a split in the legislature for the formation of a new group prior to eventual merger with NDPP. Therefore, by trying to lure only six to seven MLAs from NPF, it will not help the NDPP bolster its numbers unless these members resign from their party and face bypolls. After the recent February 27,2018 the verdict was inconclusive though the PDA alliance of NDPP and BJP won a total of 30 seats. The NPF in alliance with NPP won a total of 28 seats. The lone independent and JDU then gravitated to the PDA and which led to panic rush by NPP. The PDA depends wholly on the support of the four MLAs from NPP(2) and one each from the JDU and Independent. On the face of it, the position of the PDA is precarious but not necessarily under threat. Members within NPF are not exactly as united as the party would like others to believe and that is not unusual. In fact both party president Dr.Shürhozelie and legislature party leader T.R.Zeliang have had huge differences with regard to having any truck with the BJP. Both find themselves in the same platform by circumstances after their bitter split in June-July 2017 when Zeliang pulled the rug from underneath Dr.Shürhozelie when the latter won the July 29 bypoll. Shürhozelie was sworn –in as chief minister during February 2017 when Zeliang was forced to step down following the killing of two youths in January during the state wide agitation against 33 women reservation. After the founder of NPF and current chief minister Neiphiu Rio was elbowed out of the party, both Dr.Shürhozelie and T.R.Zeliang came together again. However, both were again at loggerheads over alliance with BJP. Dr.Shürhozelie never forgot how the BJP got involved in the NPF crisis by siding with T.R.Zeliang days ahead of his expected swearing-in during June 2017. Both NPF and the newly formed NDPP courted the BJP unashamedly much to the chagrin of the secularists and church. Dr.Shürhozelie shot down any proposal for a tie up with the BJP while T.R.Zeliang wanted to continue. The BJP then took advantage of the situation by making big demands for seats. It eventually aligned with the NDPP which offered the party(BJP) 20 seats whereas the NPF offered 5 seats. The inescapable fact is that NDPP needs to shore up its numbers to be stable and where these would come from is anybody’s guess. NPF too would want to spring back to power and if BJP eventually decides to take the bait, then both NPF and BJP totalling 38 members, could share power. However, what happens after the 2019 Lok Sabha election could decide the fate of the PDA. 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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