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NDPP will not merge with BJP, says Nagaland CM Rio

Kohima, Aug. 12 (IANS): Nagaland Chief Minister and leader of the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Neiphiu Rio, on Friday said categorically that his party would not merge with the BJP.

Speaking to the media here, he said the BJP has been the NDPP’s electoral ally since 2017 but there is no question of his party merging with them.

Rio was reacting to Nagaland Congress President K Therie’s claim that the NDPP was planning to merge with the BJP after the 2023 assembly elections.

“I or any other leader of the NDPP have never said anything like this (merger of the NDPP with the BJP). The Congress concocted this baseless story. They have no moral position to raise any question about our integrity” , said the Chief Minister.

Therie claimed on Thursday that the NDPP is considering installing a BJP government in the state.

The BJP and NDPP finalized the seat-sharing deal last month to stand for election to Nagaland’s 60-member assembly early next year.

BJP Nagaland official Nalin Kohli and NDPP General Secretary Abu Metha announcing the deal in New Delhi had announced that the NDPP would contest for 40 seats and the BJP would fight for the remaining 20 seats.

The seat-sharing deal was reached after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Rio met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the nation’s capital.