Thursday, October 6, 2022

Rio rubbishes NPCC claim on NDPP-BJP merger


Reacting to a startling claim by NPCC president K. Therie on Thursday, that NDPP will merge with BJP after 2023 Assembly election; state chief minister Neiphiu Rio rubbished the claim and implying that it as a figment of Therie’s own imagination.
It may be mentioned that Therie had, in a statement, claimed that NDPP leaders had assured central BJP leaders of merging NDPP with BJP after elections and not before; since a pre-poll merger would invite backlash and thereby imperil poll prospects.
Drawing attention on Therie’s statement, Rio told media persons on the sideline of an event at Kisama Friday, that some people were “crazy” and even going as far as to question the NDPP leadership. On Therie’s allegation, Rio made it clear that as leader of NDPP legislature party, there never was any discussion on merger with BJP and Therie’s claim was not even a rumor but his own cooked up story.
Rio said instead of questioning his integrity, the NPCC leader should question his own integrity. Rio said he led the alliance with BJP since 2003 and that it will continue.
The NPCC president had claimed, citing sources, that BJP was planning to install its own party government in Nagaland based on the assurances of those “seat negotiating leaders” who agreed on a post-poll merger with BJP.
On Therie’s another claim Rio said he has never asked for assembly election to be advanced from February 2023 to December 2022 but that the state would always prefer elections to be held as scheduled.
“We do not know what the government of India is thinking but we would prefer to have the elections on time,” Rio added.
It may be mentioned that Therie had claimed that the Assembly election in Nagaland was likely to be advanced from February-March 2023 to December 2022 in order to be held simultaneously along with Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. He also claimed that a discussion was held in Delhi after which the chief minister returned to Nagaland and called all HoDs to complete project reports since election might be held in December 2020.
Therie further hit out at the NDPP and BJP, stating that despite taking forward the July 16 Parliamentary Committee meeting resolution on Naga political issue to Prime Minister’s office, both NDPP and BJP instead declared a seat sharing agreement.
On Naga political issue, Rio said after the resolution by the parliamentary core committee on Naga political issue on July 16, he had met with union home minister Amit Shah, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and government of India’s representative to Naga political issue, A.K. Mishra.
“But now the process of the NSCN (I-M) and Centre’s representative (AK Mishra) is to meet and discuss on that,” Rio said, adding that their resolution was very clear.
Rio said it (resolution) had clearly mentioned that the Prime Minister and Home minister should invite NSCN (I-M) to minutely discuss about the competencies. He said if there were any differences over the competencies, then it may revert back to the Framework Agreement for onward discussion.
On the invitation by government of India’s representative A.K. Mishra to NSCN (I-M) leaders, Rio said both sides had virtual meeting.
Rio also said as per information, NSCN (I-M) had asked for a joint statement by both the government of India and NSCN (I-M) but it was declined since the government of India maintained that the Framework Agreement was still under consideration and hence there was no need for another joint statement.