Union Minister of State for Home and senior BJP leader Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said the BJP has entered into a seat-sharing agreement with the newly-floated National Democratic Peoples' Party (NDPP) ahead of the February 27 Nagaland Assembly polls.
Rijiju, BJP in-charge for Nagaland elections, accompanied by NDPP supremo former Nagaland Chief Minister and Lok Sabha MP Neiphu Rio, said that while the NDPP will contest in 40 seats, the BJP will contest in 20 seats for the election to the 60-member Nagaland Legislative Assembly.
Rio had recently resigned from the NPF and floated the new regional political party, NDPP.
"I think the BJP and NDPP will be able to get absolute majority in Nagaland in the forthcoming polls and form the next government in the state," said Rijiju, addressed a press conference at a hotel in Guwahati.
The BJP was a part of the Naga Peoples' Front (NPF)-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government in Nagaland. The NPF which is the ruling party in Nagaland has also been a partner of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) since 2003.
"The NPF is not our enemy and BJP's relation with NPF is very old. However, we are not having an alliance with the NPF this time," said Rijiju when asked about the BJP's pact with the NPF.
"In the past BJP was just a junior party in Nagaland. However, as the BJP has become a major political force in Nagaland, the seat sharing agreement with NDPP became a necessity ahead of the polls," he said, adding that although the BJP initiated talks with the NPF earlier it however did not converge to seat-sharing level.
Asked about the stalemate in Nagaland due to the poll-boycott call given by the NSCN (I-M) and the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations (CCNTHCO), the Union Minister of State for Home said that he has appealed to all the groups including the overground and underground organizations to cooperate as holding of election is a constitutional requirement.
"We have conveyed the message to all, including the NSCN (I-M) and other groups, not to vitiate the election atmosphere in the state ahead of the polls. The ceasefire ground rules must be maintained by all groups at any cost and any departure from the ceasefire will not lead to positive results," said Rijiju.