Friends turn foes ? NPF decides to pull out of BJP-led Govt


KOHIMA, May 18
In a big setback to the BJP, its ally Naga People's Front (NPF) on Saturday decided to pull out of the coalition Government in Manipur. The decision in this regard was taken following intense deliberation and review meeting with the party functionaries and the NPF MLAs in Kohima.
However, repeated attempts by The Sangai Express to contact local NPF leaders on the latest political development proved futile as all the phone calls went unanswered.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Biren has stated that maximum efforts would be invested to translate into action all the points agreed in principle between BJP and all its coalition partners including NPF after the Lok Sabha election results are declared in consultation with Central leaders.
Biren categorically stated that BJP would keep its words and will never betray its partners.
During the meeting, it was decided that NPF will pull out its four MLAs from the BJP-led Government in Manipur headed by N Biren Singh soon after the Lok Sabha election is completed.
NPF leader TR Zeliang took to Twitter to inform about the party's decision.
The NPF leaders are reportedly unhappy with the ruling BJP, which, they allege, is not paying heed to its ideas and suggestions.
The NPF had this morning convened a meeting of its leaders to decide if it would continue to stay in the coalition or withdraw support.
The BJP has, however, rejected the allegation. The saffron party said that it has extended all possible cooperation to its partners to ensure smooth functioning of the Government.
The NPF has four MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.
Even if the NPF pulls out, it wouldn't impact the BJP-led coalition, which cur- rently has 29 legislators in the House.
Eight of the 28 Congress MLAs, who had won the 2017 polls, defected to the BJP last year, taking its tally from 21 to 29 in the Assembly.
The other parties in the ruling coalition are NPP (4), LJP (1), Independent (1) and AITC (1).
Awangbou Newmai, the State unit chief of the Naga People's Front (NPF), claimed that the BJP "looks down" on its alliance partners, according to PTI.
"The BJP has never respected the spirit of alliance since the formation of Government in 2017. There have been instances when their leaders have refused to consider our members as alliance partners," he said, without elaborating.
Newmai also alleged that the BJP did not live up to the promises it made to its coalition partners.
"The NPF has always considered the BJP as its big brother, but that did not stop the saffron party from bluffing to us. We haven't got our due respect," he claimed.
Rebutting Newmai's assertions, Ch Bijoy, the spokesperson of the BJP, said the NPF had maintained that it did not want any ministerial berth while joining the alliance, but now, it seems, the party has several demands.
Of the four NPF MLAs in the Assembly, Loshii Dikho, who won from the Mao Assembly seat, is a cabinet minister.
Staff Reporter & Zee Media Bureau