Kohima: Even as the newly constituted Nagaland Assembly under Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is yet to be declared as an opposition-less house’, all its 60 members, including 23 from non-PDA parties, which won the election, were seen sitting together in the All Political Parties Lobby’ of the Assembly on Monday, the day the first session of the new House commenced.
The rest room arrangement for the legislators has been named the ‘All Political Party Lobby’ unlike the past when it used to be called the Ruling or Opposition lobby.
A legislator of a non-PDA party said on condition of anonymity that Rio has accepted letters of support from other parties.
He also said that the chief minister during a meeting with legislators on Saturday ahead of the state budget session informed them that declaration of the opposition-less government’ will take some time as his pre-poll ally BJP is yet to get clearance on it from its high command.
Rio held a closed door meeting of all the newly elected legislators on Saturday and accepted the non-PDA parties to jointly focus on issues of Naga political talks, the conduct of urban local bodies election, women reservation and delimitation.
The budget session of the Assembly began on Monday.
In the recent state election the People’s Democratic Alliance a pre-poll alliance of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and BJP contested on 40:20 seat sharing formula and won 37 seats. NDPP bagged 25 and the saffron party retained 12 lawmakers in the House of 60.
However, 23 members of other political parties, viz NCP 7, NPP 5, LJP (Ram Vilas), Naga People’s Front (NPF) & RPI (Athawale) 2 each, JD(U) 1 and Independent 4, rushed their letter of support’ to Rio for an opposition-less government.
While some of the parties extended unconditional support, the NPF declared to support the government to jointly press for early resolution of Naga peace talks between the Centre and Naga nationalist groups.
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Nagaland first had an opposition-less government in 2015 after eight Congress MLAs merged with the then ruling NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government.
The second all party government of United Democratic Alliance was formed in September 2021 to press for an early solution to the Naga peace talks, but it is yet to be achieved.
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