BJP blames Shürhozelie, TR for ‘failure’ of DAN
DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 26
The Nagaland unit of BJP has today blamed the leadership of Chief Minister TR Zeliang and NPF president Dr. Shürhozelie for ‘failure’ of the DAN alliance.
In a strongly worded press statement against the NPF, the State BJP said, “the BJP cannot be undermined and the failure of the NPF president Dr. Shürhozelie and the Chief Minister TR Zeliang to manage the DAN alliance is obvious.” Therefore, the DAN does not exist in reality, it stated.
The State BJP demanded that appropriate measures be taken in the interest of the people of Nagaland and the country while cautioning that or else serious course of action would be taken and the issue would be brought to the notice of the BJP Central Parliamentary Board. The BJP’s Parliamentary Board consists of the seniormost members of the party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president Amit Shah.
The statement signed by Nagaland BJP president Dr. Chuba Ao said it is constrained to issue the press release in view of the strained relationship between the NPF and the BJP in the aftermath of the disqualification of the BJP MLAs and the 2014 parliamentary elections. The statement said there is a definite trust deficit between the BJP and the NPF.
The State BJP recalled that the DAN coalition was formed in 2003 and had been sailing smoothly in a healthy manner with a cordial relationship except for a brief period during the DAN-II tenure. It said several confidence building measures were undertaken on the eve of the 2013 elections and the DAN won a thumping majority.
When DAN-III was formed, the then chief minister Neiphiu Rio showed enormous magnanimity by inducting our only MLA as a parliamentary secretary with an important and crucial portfolio despite the fact that the BJP was in opposition during the UPA regime, the statement said. However, after the 2014 parliamentary elections, the attitude and bullying nature of the NPF had adversely affected the alliance, it stated.
The statement also said in the change of guard, the BJP was expecting its MLA to be inducted into the cabinet, but this was denied despite the BJP coming to power at the Centre. Because of this attitude, even the lone Lok Sabha MP, who won with a thumping majority, was denied a cabinet berth in the Union government, which has come as a great loss to Nagaland and the entire region, the State BJP said.
The party further said this was followed by the disqualification of the three BJP MLAs who had merged with the party from the NCP. It recalled, “We are all well aware that such mergers had taken place in smooth manner on several occasions in the past during DAN I and DAN II in favour of the NPF, but our MLAs were disqualified despite following all formalities as per the rules and despite the best efforts of the BJP leaders in the State and from central leadership on several occasions.” The statement said the BJP was compelled to go to court and again the NPF fielded the State government’s legal adviser to contest against it though they were both part of the same alliance and it became another BJP versus NPF in the courtroom.
The state government’s legal adviser Kotanda Raman had stood against the BJP advocate in the first hearing. “The harassment meted out to our MLAs is premeditated and sheer arrogance,” the BJP said.
The miffed BJP stated that prior to the merger, the NPF inducted NCP members into the government without any clearance of the DAN Consultative Committee or approval of its alliance partners. “Till date, no DAN meeting has been held and no consultation was carried out with the BJP for the bye elections of the 11 Northern Angami II assembly constituency, which resulted in a contest between the BJP and the NPF who are supposed to be alliance partners,” the statement said. This, it said, was indeed unfortunate and further strained the relationship and ironically the Congress was a mute spectator and watched two partners fight against each other. The BJP said the party had expected a DAN consensus candidate but rather the NPF unilaterally fielded its candidate without any consultation and though the seat was won, a friendship had been adversely affected.
The DAN alliance was a pre-poll coalition that was stitched together consisting of non- and anti-Congress parties ahead of the 2003 assembly elections. It was led by Neiphiu Rio of NPF and late Dr. Hokishe Sema of BJP and the then union defence minister and NDA Convenor George Fernandes had come to Kohima to launch the DAN election campaign.
On formation of the first DAN government, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Nagaland, spent three days in Kohima and announced an economic package of more than a thousand crore. However, after more than a decade, the alliance has run into rough waters, especially after the disqualification of the BJP MLAs.
The present DAN chairman is NPF president Dr. Shürhozelie, who enjoys cabinet status with all privileges of a cabinet minister. The BJP statement said the party is not blind to the manner in which the NPF is functioning and treating the BJP. The DAN does not exist in reality, it added.