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JD(U) and an Independent Emerge Kingmakers in Nagaland, But Will BJP Form Govt?

In Saturday's fractured verdict, BJP is most likely to form the next government along with its alliance partner Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), but the support of JDU and Independent Tongpang Ozukum could prove to be vital.

Sanchari Chatterjee | News18.com

Updated:March 4, 2018, 7:05 AM IST
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JD(U) and an Independent Emerge Kingmakers in Nagaland, But Will BJP Form Govt?
Independent Tongpang Ozukum declares his support for the BJP-NDPP alliance. (News18)
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New Delhi: An Independent candidate and a Janata Dal (United) candidate could prove to be the kingmakers in Nagaland, with no single party or alliance getting a clear majority in the Nagaland Assembly. In this fractured verdict, BJP is most likely to form the next government along with its alliance partner Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), but the support of JDU and Independent Tongpang Ozukum could prove to be vital.

While a day before the results, the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) had declared that they have the support of JDU and NPP, Janata Dal on Saturday sided with the BJP-NDPP in a sharp turn of events and now has the single largest party in the state scrambling for options.

Even before the final results could be declared, Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang on Saturday had said that the NPF is willing to form the government with the BJP. Despite the differences, the saffron party too had said that they would not shy away from the possibility, if an alliance with NDPP does not get them a majority in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly. While it looks like the BJP wouldn’t have to give up on NDPP, Zeliang’s NPF might turn out to be the biggest loser with the most number of seats.

Here’s a look at the possible scenarios for the three contenders:

1. For Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP): BJP had contested 20 seats in an understanding with former CM Neiphiu Rio’s NDPP that fought the 40 other seats. The two are now the most likely parties to form the next Nagaland government. In Saturday’s results, the BJP-NDPP alliance secured 29 seats and were just 2 short of a majority. While the party had kept its options with both NPF and NDPP open till the last moment, it managed to rope in two key players from JDU and an Independent to reach the magic figure of 31.

1. For Naga People’s Front (NPF): While the ruling party’s tally has come down from 38 to 27 in the 2018 Assembly election, it is still the party with the maximum seats. However, with 2 more seats from partners National People’s Party (NPP), it will still be short of 31 by 2 seats. According to some reports, both JDU and NPP had declared on Friday that they would support NPF, but Saturday’s results have turned the tables and NPF has lost JDU. It can now either join the BJP if they are still interested in an alliance with NPF or win over the Independent and JDU.

3. For Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP): After contesting 40 seats in its pre-election arrangement with the BJP, the newest party on the block - NDPP has managed to secure a staggering 17 seats and has come out as the winner. With BJP’s 12 and NDPP’s 17, the alliance was being seen as the runner’s up in Nagaland as compared to NPF’s 27, but with the support of a JDU candidate and Independent Tongpang Ozukum, they might end up forming the next Nagaland government.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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