By Linus Garg
First publised on 2023-03-09 08:04:29
Nagaland is a state that has one of the largest numbers of political parties. In the recent assembly polls, the state witnessed a large number of parties winning, some for the first time. Yet, when it comes to government formation, Nagaland will be a state where there will be no opposition in the assembly. It had happened twice in the past, in 2015 and 2021, when the ruling dispensation admitted members of the opposition in the government and there was no opposition in the assembly. But for the first time ever, this time it seems that chief minister Neiphiu Rio's NDPP government, in a pre-poll alliance with the BJP, will have no opposition in the assembly from the word go.
The NDPP had won 25 seats, the BJP 12 and the alliance had 37 members in the 60-member assembly. Apart from them, the NCP won 7, the NPP 5, LJP (Ram Vilas), NPF and RPI (Athwale) 2 each and 4 seats were won by independents. Now, all the other parties and the independents have decided to support the government in order to support the Naga cause. This is a unique incident of an assembly having no opposition from the day the members are sworn-in.
With the united face shown by all parties who won in the recent elections, and with the BJP part of the ruling alliance, the time is now ripe for the Centre to untie the knots in the Framework Agreement signed with the NSCN-IM in 2015. With the political class in the state united for the Naga cause, the state government and the Centre must sit with the rebels and finalize the agreement to bring lasting peace to the state. The issue of Frontier Nagaland and the scrapping of APSPA from the rest of the state (it was scrapped from 15 police stations in 7 districts in March last year), as also the demands of the various tribes, should now be taken up and resolved through talks.