On Monday, August 16, the Opposition party in Nagaland —The Naga People’s Front (NPF) was instated into Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio‘s government. This was done to “work collectively towards achieving a peaceful and amicable solution” to the prolonged political issue in Nagaland. Therefore, the new exception will be known as Nagaland United Government.
The issue involves the peace process with several extremist groups, primarily the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland. For the past 24 years or more, the issues have been constantly delayed.
Strength of the House
At present, the effective strength of the Nagaland House is 59 following the death of an MLA. The Naga People’s Front (NPF), being Nagaland’s only Opposition party, had won 25 seats in the 2018 Assembly elections. However, they suspended seven MLAs for fraternizing with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party formed the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government with a total MLA count of 34, in association with the Bharatiya Janata Party and two Independents.
Also read: Assam-Nagaland Chief Secretaries meet, agree to withdraw forces from the inter-state border; Assam CM Himanta calls it “a historic step”
Yesterday, leaders of all the major political parties in the state- NDPP, NPF and BJP met which resulted in the conception of a “united government”, with the main goal to achieve an honourable and acceptable solution to the Naga political issue.
“The decision to accept the Opposition-less united government has been taken unanimously by the primary PDA partners, namely NDPP and BJP including 2 (two) Independent MLAs supporting the PDA government…Henceforth, the government shall be called Nagaland United Government,” a joint statement said.
Along with the Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, the 12 signatories of the statement included Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Yangthungo Patton and NPF veteran T.R. Zeliang.
Joint approach to the Naga political issue
The Core Committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Naga political issues had earlier resolved and affirmed the joint united approach in achieving a solution to the Naga political issue. The NPF legislature party had also endorsed the concept of Opposition-less government.
“The political parties shall appeal to all Naga Political Groups (read insurgent groups) to make serious efforts towards unity and reconciliation. The political parties shall ensure unity of their members in the Assembly on the issue,” the statement reads.
It must be mentioned that it is the second opposition-less government in Nagaland.