Team Rio, Zeliang meet Nagaland Governor

Voters wait in a long queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Dimapur Nagaland

State Governor P B Acharya has given both the leaders 48 hours time to submit the signatures of the MLAs supporting them.

Rio said the National People's Party's Nagaland president Ato Yepthomi expressed willingness to extend support to the NDPP-BJP alliance in the formation of the government.

With Tening constituency election result having been altered and now going in favour of NDPP candidate Namri Nchang, the BJP-NDPP alliance's strength has risen to 32 in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly, 18 NDPP and 12 BJP members, besides one JD (U) MLA and one Independent MLA.

Rio had met the governor along with NDPP president Chingwang Konyak, BJP state president Visasolie Lhoungu, the JD (U) MLA and the Independent legislator, he said.

Asked whether the BJP and NDPP will be in a position to form the next government without the help of party's erstwhile ally Naga Peoples Front (NPF), which won in 17 seats and was likely to win eight others, Rijiju said, "The NPF has already passed a resolution on alliance with the BJP".

The NDPP was formed just before the February 27 election with then NPF leader Neiphiu Rio as its head.

BJP and NDPP together bagged 30 seats.

However, Zeliang said he will not resign.

Rio, a three-time chief minister and a senior leader of the NDPP, an ally of the BJP, staked claim earlier in the day to form a coalition government in Nagaland saying he has the support of 32 MLAs. Dr. Shurhozelie also reiterated that BJP had not withdrawn from the alliance till date.

Sarma was also confident that the long protracted Naga political issue would be solved with a stable government in the state.

Press bureau explained that after NPF emerged as the single largest party, Zeliang submitted to Nagaland Governor, the pre-poll alliance letters of the NPP and JD (U) and that the governor, in all fairness, had given him 48 hours to prove his majority.

Two BJP ministers are still in the Zeliang cabinet although the national party had allied with Rio before the polls.

Sarma, however, said it would not be proper for Zeliang to meet central BJP leaders at this stage as it would send a wrong signal to the people of Nagaland.

However, later in the evening, the Naga People's Front also staked claim to form the next government. "Once things are clear, we will have to take a decision", the Governor said.

Meanwhile, in Dimapur, the BJP Legislature Party today unanimously elected former home minister Yanthungo Patton as its leader.

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