Nagaland today elected a hung assembly with ruling Naga Peoples Front (NPF) emerging as the single largest party with 27 seats in 60-chair House.
Though the BJP-NDPP alliance failed to secure a majority, the saffron party's participation in the future government looks certain.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won 11 seats, holds the key to form the government. The saffron party’s ally Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) won 16 seats. The magic figure in Nagaland is 31.
By late evening, the ruling NPF extended invitation to the BJP join the new dispensation. However, BJP’s Ram Madhav said that the saffron party will form the government with its partner NDPP.
NDPP-BJP alliance has secured near simple majority in Nagaland. We have support of 1 independent & 1 JD(U) member, that takes us to 32 seats. We are in a comfortable position to form next govt. NDPP-BJP alliance will stake its claim to form govt in next couple of days: Ram Madhav pic.twitter.com/u1C4jW6o1r— ANI (@ANI) March 3, 2018
“NDPP-BJP alliance has secured near simple majority in Nagaland. We have the support of 1 independent & 1 JD(U) member, that takes us to 32 seats. We are in a comfortable position to form next govt. NDPP-BJP alliance will stake its claim to form govt in next couple of days,” he said.
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The JD(U), which shares power with the BJP in Bihar, has announced that it will support the BJP. An Independent candidate, Tongpang Ozukum, also submitted a letter of support to the BJP. The National People's Party, an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur, won two seats.
Earlier today, a neck and neck fight was on in Nagaland between NPF and BJP-NDPP alliance.
The NFP has been in power in the state since 2003 except for a three-month-long break during the President's Rule in 2008.
Chief Minister and NPF leader T R Zeliang won from Peren constituency by a margin of 5,432 votes.
The BJP and the NDPP had contested in 20 and 40 seats, respectively.
Thank you Nagaland for supporting @BJP4Nagaland and our valued ally. I assure my sisters and brothers of Nagaland that we will continue to work for the progress and prosperity of Nagaland. I applaud the tireless work of the local BJP unit.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2018
NDPP chief Neiphiu Rio, a former three-time chief minister, has already been declared elected uncontested from Northern Angami II seat.
"We have two topmost priorities. First is the Naga political issue, we should bring solution as early as possible because PM is very concerned & an agreement will be signed on Aug 10. Second is the development aspect, infrastructure & railways," Rio said.
The Congress, which has given three chief ministers to Nagaland since the state's inception in 1963, contested only in 18 seats.
The election process in the northeastern state had started on a difficult note.
Following a no-poll diktat from the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations advocating "solution (to the Naga political issue) before election", political parties initially kept away from the poll process.
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Though filing of nominations started on January 31, the first batch of 22 contestants filed their papers only on February 5, the penultimate day for filing of nominations.
There was a heavy rush of nominees to file the nomination papers on the last day, February 7, and finally after scrutiny and withdrawal, 227 candidates were in the fray for the state polls.