NPF indifferent to snapping ties, BJP still in 'all gain' mode
Dimapur (Nagaland): In what can be said as turning disadvantage into advantage, the beleaguered Naga People's Front (NPF) leaders now feel that since alliance with BJP has not materialised, it can now freely contest all 60 seats in the state.
"If we win 60 seats, we will have better bargaining power as compared to others," says a NPF leader in reference to newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party.
In what is said to be a political coup, the NDPP sealed a seat sharing deal with the BJP just on the eve of elections and thus it will give crucial advantage to NDPP as it finds country's ruling establishment as a partner in its maiden electoral battle.
None other than the former Chief Minister Neiphio Rio is said to have been instrumental in sealing the deal.
On the other hand the NPF, an ally of BJP for last two decades, said they were against sparing many seats to the BJP.
Last week, NPF leader K Kithan said BJP's demand of 15 seats in the 60-member assembly was not acceptable.
"We could offer 4 to 5 seats but instead of 15 it is good BJP will contest 20 seats. BJP is our friend so we do not mind their base expansion in Nagaland," says a NPF leader.
With Naga groups, tribal Hohos and other stakeholders backing the demand to find a solution before election, the development is significant for the BJP.
The advantage is more for the BJP because it is in power in the Centre and thus is seen as an outfit which can deliver peace as well as power and development. Therefore, it is not good reason that senior BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav maintains that the election should be held to help find a quicker solution to the Naga problem.
His argument is also on the line that a BJP government in Nagaland as well as in New Delhi can work together for a faster and lasting solution to the Naga issue.
In the meantime, if Congress continues to remain inactive in the electoral battle of Nagaland, the BJP's much ambitious run to power will be smoother.
In the ultimate of course despite controversy over this year's polls in Nagaland, like in 1998, all major parties are ready to participate in this year's elections.