In a significant political development ahead of next year's Assembly polls in Nagaland, 21 of the 25 MLAs of the Naga People's Front (NPF) on Friday joined the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
Both the NPF and the NDPP are the constituents of the opposition less all-party United Democratic Alliance (UDA) government, formed last year.
To take forward the Naga political issue between the Centre and Naga outfits and various other groups, the all party UDA government was formed.
BJP with 12 MLAs is also the important constituent of the UDA with NPF President and Former Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang as its Chairman.
With the joining of the 21 NPF legislators, the strength of NDPP has gone up to 42 in the 60-member Assembly.
Nagaland Assembly speaker Sharingain Lokngkumer in an order said that he has received the claim of merger of 21 members of the NPF Legislature Party with the NDPP on Friday.
The Speaker in his order, available with IANS, said the 21 MLAs belonging to the NPF led by T.R. Zeliang, have stated in their individual letters as well as in their resolution that they have merged with the NDPP on Friday.
The Friday's development comes after the internal tussle in NPF as the party President Shurhozelie Liezietsu on Thursday announced that the party would contest the early next year's Assembly election on its own.
Meanwhile, the NPF with five MLAs is an ally of the BJP led government in neighbouring Manipur. The Naga party has two ministers in the N Biren Singh led 12-member council of ministry.
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