However, Zeliang virtually ruled out any alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) that fought the state assembly election with the BJP.
Interestingly, the BJP has two ministers in the NPF government in Nagaland but the two parties didn't fight elections together. Instead, the BJP stitched a pre-poll alliance with the NDPP.
Zeliang said his party has been a BJP ally since 2003. "We are continuing with the alliance. We never parted at any point of time. And we hope that they (BJP) will come forward and join our government."
He said the NDPP was a new political party and was yet to be recognised by the election commission. "We have no tie with the NDPP. There is no discussion with the NDPP at any point of time."
According to the latest available trends, the NPF was poised to emerge as the single largest party in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly. It had won 12 seats and was leading in 10 more till early evening, at least nine short of the half-way mark of 31.
The BJP had won five and was leading in seven constituencies and its pre-poll ally the NDPP had won three and was ahead in 14 more seats.
The BJP and the NDPP had put up Neiphiu Rio as their joint chief ministerial candidate.New Delhi: The counting of votes for the assembly polls in Nagaland is taking place today, where the fate of 195 candidates will be decided.
The voting took place in the north-east state on February 28, where 11.92 lakh voters casted votes at 2,196 polling stations.
There are a total of 60 assembly seats in Nagaland and the elections took place on 59 seats, where votes were casted on 2,196 polling stations.
What Happened Today:
- BJP leads on 24 seats, NPF on 30 seats
- Other parties lead on 4 seats
- Congress leads on 2 seats
- Chief Minister T R Zeliang of the NPF is leading from
- BJP will form government in Nagaland. Congress won't be seen anywhere in the state: Kiren Rijiju
— ABP News (@abpnewstv) March 3, 2018
- Counting of votes begins
- Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio of NDPP from Angami – II has been elected unopposed after his opponent Naga's people front candidate withdrew his nomination
- PM Modi addressed one rally ahead of these assembly polls in Nagaland
Total of 31 seats are required to form a government.
The NPF had lured legislators from the Congress and others into its fold during its previous term, leaving the assembly without any opposition. This was before differences within the Front cropped up, resulting in the resignation of Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang in February 2017 and the appointment of Shurhozelie Liezietsu, and the return of Mr. Zeliang to the post again in July 2017 after yet another upheaval. These internal differences have weakened the NPF in the bipolar contest between the NPF and the NDPP-BJP.
Main issues of the elections in Nagaland:
- Final solution to the peace process with Naga extremist groups
- Unemployment in the state
- Nagaland People Front (NPF) led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) has been ruling over the state for the last 15 years.
- This election NPF is contesting alone, as BJP has decided to part ways
- There is alliance between NDPP (Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party) and BJP
Who won 2013 polls in Nagaland?
Naga Peoples Front – 38 seats
Independent - 8 seats
Indian National Congress – 8 seats
Nationalist Congress Party – 4 seats
Bharatiya Janata Party - 1 seat
Janata Dal (United) – 1 seat