Hope good sense will prevail among those seeking new state: Rio

KOHIMA, 27 Jan: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday expressed hope that “good sense” will prevail among the seven tribes of the state that have decided not to participate in the 27 February assembly polls to press for their demand for a separate state.
Several organisations of the seven tribes have also issued separate diktats, asking their community members to resign from the posts they are holding in political parties.
These organisations also warned that if any of their members files nomination for the election, they will have to face the consequences.
“I have nothing to say about their decision. But in a democracy, elected representatives are required to form a government. I hope good sense will prevail,” said Rio, who is also the head of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
The Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO), the apex body of these seven tribes, has been demanding a separate state – Frontier Nagaland – comprising the districts of Mon, Noklak, Kiphire, Longleng, Shamator and Tuensang, since 2010.
Asked about the hue and cry over the 40:20 seat-sharing formula for the pre-poll alliance between the NDPP and the BJP for the coming election, Rio said his party would not budge from the present arrangement.
The NDPP and the BJP had contested the 2018 elections with a 40:20 seat-sharing formula and won 18 and 12 seats, respectively, to form the government. They were supported by two MLAs of the National Peoples’ Party (NPP), one JD (U) MLA and an independent.
The alliance partners have decided to continue with the 40:20 formula, but a number of leaders from both parties demanded a change in that.
“There will be no friendly contest between the two parties and we stand by the decision. We will support them in their seats and they will support us in ours,” Rio said.
The two parties will finalise the constituencies to be shared within this month and the NDPP will then announce the list of its candidates, the CM said.
The last date for filing nominations is 30 January. The election will be held on 27 February, and the votes will be counted on 2 March. (PTI)