As Nagaland heads towards an ‘opposition-less’ government with almost all parties extending support to the NDPP-BJP alliance, political analysts and commentators in the state have slammed the arrangement, calling it a mockery of democracy.
While the alliance is yet to stake claim for government formation, it has received “unconditional” support from other parties to continue its second innings.
According to political analyst Jonas Yanthan, the parties extending support to the NDPP-BJP combine “do not have any agenda for the people who trusted their leaders, and are trying to fulfil its own selfish interests”.
“Who would raise the concerns of the public in the assembly without an opposition member in the assembly?” Yanthan said.
He also said the claim of the parties that they would support the government to facilitate the Naga peace talks is a “political melodrama”.
Social activist Niketu Iralu said he did not subscribe to the idea of an ‘opposition-less’ government, which he described as “opinion-less”.
H Chishi, a senior journalist and writer, said that the proposition of a ‘opposition-less’ government is a “political gimmick to come to power for vested interests”.
“There has to be a common voice from all sections of people, and not only the 60 MLAs (Nagaland Assembly strength), to facilitate the ongoing peace talks,” Chishi said.
“We have had ‘opposition-less’ governments in the past, but what have they delivered? It is undemocratic and the Union government should intervene,” he said.
In 2015 and 2021, ‘opposition-less’ governments were formed during the term of a government, but this would be the first-ever assembly that is set to be an opposition-less one even before the House has been sworn in.
In the Nagaland assembly elections, the results of which were declared on March 2, pre-poll alliance partners NDPP and BJP won 25 and 12 seats, respectively, totalling 37 in the 60-member House.
The NCP secured seven seats, NPP five, LJP (Ram Vilas), Naga People's Front (NPF) and RPI (Athawale) two each, JD(U) one, while Independents bagged four seats.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had recently told reporters that the final decision on acceptance of an ‘opposition-less’ government will be taken only after proper consultation with the BJP.
BJP state president Temjen Imna Along said, “If there is a need for anything like that, our chief minister and the saffron party’s central leaders have to deliberate and decide.”
However, “we did not ask any political party to give letter of support”, Along said.
The Peoples’ Democratic Alliance (PDA) 2.0 is comfortable, and there is no need for other political parties, he said, adding, the BJP state unit will not be involved in the process of forming an ‘opposition-less’ government unless a directive in this regard is received from the central leadership.
Deputy leader of NCP Legislature Party P Longon told PTI that the party stands to “unconditionally” support the government and “wait patiently” for the final decision.
The NPP, meanwhile, said its leaders will discuss before taking a call on supporting the government or taking the opposition bench in the House.
“Before the elections, we were assured of at least one cabinet berth if our elected members supported the formation of NDPP-BJP government,” claimed NPP Legislature Party leader Nuklutoshi Longkumer.