Neiphiu Rio to Take Oath as Nagaland CM Today, NPP Withdraws Letter of Support Hours Before Swearing-in Ceremony

Kohima, Mar 8: Senior Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio will take oath as Nagaland Chief Minister today at the Kohima Local Ground. This will be the first time that the chief minister and council of ministers of a newly-elected government in Nagaland will take oath in full public view. Hours before the swearing-in ceremony, the National People’s Party (NPP) withdrew its letter of support to the NDPP-BJP alliance.

Neiphiu Rio, who floated the NDPP just ahead of the Assembly elections in Nagaland, had forged a pre-poll alliance with the BJP. The NDPP-BJP alliance had won 30 seats (NDPP 18, BJP 12) in the February 27 Nagaland Assembly polls. Governor P B Acharya on Tuesday said he had received letters of support in Rio’s favour from 12 legislators of the BJP, one letter from the JD(U) and another from an Independent MLA, besides the 18 legislatures of the NDPP.

On Wednesday, the NPP wrote to the Governor, stating that it was withdrawing its letter of support to the NDPP-BJP alliance. However, it would have no effect on government formation. Nagaland NPP president Ato Yepthomi had submitted the letter of support in favour of the NDPP-BJP alliance to Governor P B Acharya Tuesday. He was asked to submit to give a letter of support signed by the party’s national president, Conrad Sangma at the earliest.

However, Yepthomi could not obtain the authorisation from Sangma. “The reason for the withdrawal of the ‘Letter of Support’ is that we are yet to obtain the endorsement for the same from our national president,” he wrote in the letter. The NPP had contested the Assembly election in alliance with the Naga People’s Front (NPF), but after the declaration of the results on March 3, it had decided to support the NDPP-BJP alliance.


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