Kohima: Nagaland BJP president Temjen Imna Along asserted that the party’s national leaders are committed to the current alliance with NDPP but its continuation for the 2023 state elections would be announced at the right time.
The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and BJP had announced a pre-poll alliance before the 2018 Nagaland Assembly elections and contested the elections on a seat-sharing basis of 40:20.
Asked whether the BJP will continue the alliance with NDPP in the 2023 Assembly election, Along on Thursday said “the next election is yet to come and as of now we are in alliance while our central leaders are committed to it”.
As of now the alliance is there and it depends on them (central leaders) that we carry forward the alliance, said Along, who is also the Cabinet Minister in the Nagaland government.
In the 2018 Nagaland Assembly election, the NDPP won 16 seats while BJP got 12 to form the alliance government with the support of two NPP legislators and one JD(U) and Independent legislator bringing an end to the 15-years rule of Naga People’s Front (NPF), which had won 27 seats.
The work of the state president is to follow the directives of the Central leadership and to make sure that it is implemented and not for him to decide whether to go for an alliance or not my central leaders are committed to the alliance, he said.
Asked if the decision for an alliance with NDPP for 2023 elections depends on the decision of BJP central leaders, Along said he is well aware that the BJP central leaders, Nagaland BJP Legislature Party leader and Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and also Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio have already talked on the issue, but he would make the announcement once he is allowed to speak on it.
On the removal of some portfolios from BJP ministers specially Roads and Bridges from Deputy CM Patton following the merger of 21 NPF MLAs into NDPP, Along said we don’t call it removal it has been made with understanding and has the concurrence of the BJP National President J P Nadda .
It is the prerogative of the Chief Minister Rio and Deputy CM Patton to make sure that the government of the day, which is an alliance, runs smoothly, he said.
It is for them to understand and build a lasting alliance not only today but in the days to come, said Along.
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