Keeping doors of the NPF wide open BJP central to it all

Notwithstanding the call of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) to the voters to be wary of the BJP, the latter seems to be at the centre stage of the upcoming Assembly election in Nagaland. This is not so much about the strength and the winning prospect of the saffron party at the hustings, but has more to do with the fact that the two prominent regional political parties, the ruling NPF and the newly formed NDPP, in the neighbouring State seem to be bending backward to reach out to the BJP. True the NDPP has already struck a pre-poll alliance with the BJP having come to a seat arrangement, after the NPF and the saffron parties parted ways some time back, but it is significant to note that the NPF is still keeping its doors open to any tie up with the BJP. Early days yet, but as pointed out, the eagerness to go along with the BJP stems not from the strength of the party in Nagaland or its poll prospect there, but from the fact that it is the party heading the NDA Government at Delhi. And having a friendly Government at Delhi will always work to the advantage of Nagaland, especially given that the peace talk with the NSCN (IM) and the NNPGs, is at a crucial stage and a final deal my be inked anytime in the future soon. It is this reality why the two regional political parties have not toed the line of the NBCC and rightly so. It is again interesting to note that even though the NPF has kept its doors wide open for the BJP to return to the alliance, NPF leader and Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang spared no words in asserting that the BJP should not try to dominate issues of religion and culture. The observation of TR Zeliang is important.
While making his stand clear on sensitive issues such as religion and culture of a people, TR Zeliang’s observation may also be construed as an admission of the far reaching influence that the Hinduism brand of the RSS has on the BJP. It is this which has been reflected in the open statement of the NBCC earlier and while keeping the doors of the NPF open to the BJP, TR Zeliang has nonetheless drawn the line of what is acceptable and what is not. With the NDPP already inking a seat sharing deal with the BJP on a 40:20 basis, it is more than clear that it is not just number which will matter, but how close the two regional parties work with the BJP. This is where the long shadow of the ongoing peace talk between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India may be discerned. All indications that central to the scheduled Assembly election will be the pending final pact for which political dialogues are underway with the NSCN (IM) and the six NNPGs. It is here that it becomes important for the people of Nagaland to ensure that the outcome or result of the Assembly is not in any way reflected in the final outcome of the peace talk which seems to be in its final stage. The political parties too should not try to reduce the political dialogue as a vote catching slogan for a solution is to the interest of all the people of Nagaland and not just some political parties and politicians.

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