Acharya said he had asked Rio to submit the signatures of all 32 MLAs supporting him by Monday.
Guwahati: Nagaland governor P.B. Acharya on Sunday evening gave 48 hours to the ruling Naga Peoples’ Front to prove its majority in the 60-member Assembly, soon after the state’s chief minister T.R. Zeliang announced that he would not resign following the declaration of election results. Mr Zeliang, who heads the NPF, claims to have the support of 29 legislators, and said he would meet BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi to discuss the formation of a new government in Nagaland. NPF chief Shurhozolie Liezietsu has also written to Mr Shah, saying that they were “still friends”.
Earlier on Sunday, BJP general secretary and the party’s Northeast in-charge Ram Madhav and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) president Neiphiu Rio called on the governor and staked claim to forming the next government in Nagaland. After meeting Mr Rio, Mr Acharya said Mr Rio had a majority and that he should form the government as he claimed to have the support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. Mr Acharya said he had asked Mr Rio to submit the signatures of all 32 MLAs supporting him by Monday.
A senior leader of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), an ally of the BJP, said that Mr Rio, in his meeting with the governor, staked claim to forming the government in Nagaland, saying he has the support of 32 MLAs.
While the Nagaland Peoples’ Front has emerged as the single largest party, winning 27 seats in the 60-member Assembly, the combined strength of the NDPP-BJP-led alliance has become 32.
The BJP, which had won only one seat in the 2013 state Assembly polls, bagged 12 seats this time, while its ally, the newly-formed NDPP, won 17 seats in the 60-member House. The National People’s Party (NPP) bagged two seats, while the JD(U) got one seat. One Independent legislator has also extended its support to the NDPP-BJP-led alliance.
Sources in the NDPP-BJP alliance told this newspaper the new government would take office on Tuesday or a day later. They said the BJP would announce its decision formally only after the legislature party meetings. The newly-elected legislators are expected to meet in Kohima on Monday to elect their party leader.
The NPF had, however, given a letter to the governor on Friday apprising him of a pre-poll understanding with the NPP and JD(U). The NPF, in its letter, also informed the governor that it had decided to propose T.R. Zeliang as chief minister of their alliance.
The JD(U), however, decided to back out of the pre-poll alliance and gave a letter of support to the NDPP-BJP-led alliance.
NPF president Shurhozelie Liezietsu earlier said: “The people of Nagaland are with us and they want us to form the government. Our priority is to bring a solution to the Naga political problem.”
Sources in the NPF said the newly-elected legislators had started reaching Kohima, where the legislators would be meeting to decide their next course of action. There were indications that some legislators loyal to NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio may also switch sides and desert the NPF to join the NDPP. Sources said it would be very difficult for the NPF leadership to keep their flock together after failing to form the government.