Odisha News Insight

8 Congress Legislators join Ruling DAN in Nagaland

Nagaland AssemblyKohima, May 8 (IANS) The Nagaland legislative assembly was virtually left without any opposition after the eight Congress legislators joined the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) alliance on Friday.

While Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang accommodated one Congress lawmaker in his cabinet, another was appointed as adviser to the chief minister with cabinet rank.  Another was made deputy speaker of the assembly while five others were made parliamentary secretaries.

The DAN alliance, which has been in power in Nagaland since 2003, had the support of 52 members in the 60-member house.  While 38 belong to Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF), four belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the remaining to the Nationalist Congress Party and the Janata Dal-United.

The development assumes significance as both the BJP and the Congress became part of the alliance in Friday’s move unlikely to be taken lightly by the BJP, which has been concentrating on the northeastern states ever since it formed government at the centre.

The NPF, which is leading the DAN alliance is also a partner of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) central government. Sources in the BJP’s Nagaland unit said they are in touch with the central leadership over the developments in the state.

They said the party’s national president Amit Shah during his recent visit to the state categorically said that there was no question of the BJP and the Congress going together.

Sources further said the expansion of the cabinet came in the wake of mounting pressure on Chief Minister Zeliang by the Congress legislators, who had extended their support to him despite being in the opposition when he faced dissidence from among the NPF legislators earlier this month and had to go for a vote of confidence.

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