BJP joins hands with NDPP for Nagaland assembly poll

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Asked whether the NPF would take the lead in submitting nominations, Pongener said, "Since the Naga tribal organisations have left the decision to political parties whether or not to participate in the election, we will file the nominations".

The Bharatiya Janata Party has made a decision to forge an alliance with newly floated Nationalist Democratic People's Party led by former chief minister Neiphiu Rio for the February 27 assembly polls in Nagaland.

It is the only party till date to announce that it will contest the election.

Significantly, the BJP had backed out of an agreement in which all political parties had agreed not to field candidates in the upcoming election if it was held before a solution was reached to the Naga peace process.

"We do not want to give any party a walkover this time".

"A total of 22 candidates filed their nomination papers".

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Meanwhile, the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations (CCNTHCO) accused the BJP of violating the " January 29 Declaration" in connection with the Nagaland Assembly election, thereby putting the "Indo-Naga" peace talks in serious jeopardy.

Rio further appealed to all the party leaders to carry out a responsible and mature campaign and not make "personalized attacks and refrain from un-parliamentary conduct". The letter has state BJP president Visasolie Lhoungu's name on it but not his signature.

The BJP has since come up with a tentative list of candidates for the election. Supporters of these potential candidates have threatened to "withdraw their allegiance" if the saffron party contests only 20 seats.

A party source said, "if the BJP becomes the first to file nominations then the blame of defying the call would entirely fall on the BJP and other parties would follow suit with the alibi that if they do not file nominations then it will result in a walkover for the BJP". With the NSCN (IM) coming out with its open statement and the BJP going ahead and announcing its list of 20 candidates, are the two headed for a showdown and is this desirable?

The BJP has dumped its 15-year-old alliance partner, the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF).

The issue was discussed during the meeting with minister of state for home and Nagaland election in-charge, Kiren Rijiju at Dimapur on February 5, he said.