In a unique turn of events, Nagaland has now become the only state in India to have no opposition in the state assembly. The government has turned into an all-party government after Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislator YM Yollow Konyak was sworn in as cabinet minister on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, his cabinet colleagues, and Chairman of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) T.R. Zeliang were present at the swearing-in.
This development comes five months after all the ruling and opposition parties in Nagaland came together to form India’s first opposition less all-party alliance government to take forward the Naga political issue between the Centre and Naga outfits, and various other groups.
The main opposition party in the state – Naga People’s Front (NPF), which is the single largest party in Nagaland with 25 MLAs, had in July last year decided to join the Neiphiu Rio-led People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government supposedly for the Naga political issue in pursuance of the objective of ‘one solution, one agreement.’
The political parties involved in the five-point resolution last year had maintained that they will aim at promoting the Naga peace talks with a positive approach to find a political solution at the earliest.
They had also resolved to stand together to achieve an honourable settlement and appealed to all Naga political groups to make efforts for unity and reconciliation.
This is the second time that the northeastern state will have an all-party government. The first such government was seen in 2015 when eight MLAs of the opposition Congress had merged with the then ruling Naga People’s Front. The second time was when all parties had come together last year.
However, the last two times the other parties in the coalition did not have their members as ministers in the government.
The Naga group NSCN(IM) has been engaged in dialogue with the Centre since 1997 and had signed the Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015.