BJP dumps NPF, picks new ally in Nagaland

"The Nagaland BJP has about 45 potential intending candidates seeking party tickets", the letter said, adding that the prospect of the saffron party was gaining momentum in the north-eastern state with every passing day.

Nagaland now being in election mode with NPF- Naga People's Front as the ruling alliance and BJP deciding to contest the assembly poll on 27 February.

In Manipur too the NSCN-IM and its frontal bodies boycotted the 7th Manipur Assembly Election in 2000 and the 13th Lok Sabha Election in 2002, however, the election was held under tight security arrangement giving a blow to the outfit as some candidate from each constituency had filed nominations.

The party's state media cell convener, K James Vizo said on Saturday informed that the NDPP would contest 40 of the 60 seats in the state assembly while the BJP would field candidates in the remain 20 seats. "Taking this into consideration, the Nagaland BJP can not accept a pre-poll alliance with any party".

"We are confident of achieving a resounding success across the state, much better than the NDPP..."

Mention may be made that Ram Madhav had earlier said that the upcoming election is for the solution to the Naga problem.

The NPF, however, accused the BJP of betrayal.

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"NPF has been an NDA ally since 2003". "We had talks with them on seat sharing, but it did not materialise".

In this regard, after thorough consultation with district units and morchas, Theluo said the party has made a decision to contest the elections alone and opt for post-poll alliance "based on necessity". "Let me make one thing clear - we are not severing ties with NPF", he added.

"In the past BJP was just a junior party in Nagaland".

The BJP's decision to contest the election comes three days after after it signed the joint declaration by all political parties, both national and regional, on January 29 in the state not to contest the elections in solidarity with the general call of the Naga tribal organisations and civil societies. Later, the BJP had announced it would contest the polls. This may be the biggest test obstacle for BJP to get over.

"Nagaland is a very sensitive state and the Centre gives special attention and care to Naga issue".

Congress had swept the elections winning in 53 seats and while independents bagged seven.

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