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Merger of Cong MLAs to NPF leads of oppn-free govt in Nagaland

Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang today said the merger of eight Congress MLAs into the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) has led to the formation of an opposition-less government in the state with a desire to strengthen the efforts to find solution to the Naga political problem.

The eight Congress legislators had joined the ruling NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government by voting in favour of Chief Minister T R Zeliang during the February 5 vote of confidence in the state Assembly.

Subsequently, the AICC had suspended them from the party for supporting NPF-led DAN government, which has arch rival BJP as its ally.

However, Zeliang awarded the eight Congress MLAs by inducting them into his ministry and were assigned as Minister, Parliamentary Secretaries and Deputy Speaker.

On September 4 last, the Congress had filed a disqualification petition with the Speaker against them, but all of them joined NPF on November 20.

The Chief Minister, while claiming that the efforts of the NPF party to form an opposition-less government has become a reality, said “this government is the first ever opposition-less government.”

The composition of the state Assembly is now NPF-46, BJP-4, one NCP and one JD(U) member and eight Independent MLAs.
Addressing a press conference here this evening,

Zeliang said “the main motivating factor for forming this opposition-less government is the desire to strengthen our efforts to find a solution to the Naga political problem.”

He said merely forming an opposition-less government was not enough and “We have to sink all our differences. We have to act and move forward as one group or entity and work really hard for the final resolution of the more than six decades old Naga political issue. Now we are in a much better position than ever before to work unitedly for the common cause and goal of the Nagas.”

Asked whether unity among the legislators was enough for solution of the vexed Naga political issue, Zeliang said that his government was making efforts to bring back NSCN(K) to ceasefire with the Centre.

The Joint Legislators Forum had recently entrusted the civil societies and tribal organisations to jointly approach the NSCN(K) leadership to return back to ceasefire and the efforts are still on, he said.

Former Congress MLA, C Apok Jamir, who along with seven others merged with NPF, said the Congress MLAs took the right decision to merge in the greater interest of the Naga people to ensure political settlement at the earliest.

NPF president Dr Shurhozelie said the merger of Congress legislators was legal as per order of the Gauhati High Court.