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No Delhi rule in Nagaland

New Delhi, Dec. 24: The Union cabinet today failed to reach a consensus on the proposal to impose President’s rule in Nagaland.

“The reference to impose President’s rule in Nagaland was considered and rejected by the cabinet,” a highly-placed source said.

Congress leaders from the state have been trying for the past week to convince the central leadership to dismiss the Neiphiu Rio-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government.

They held meetings with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union home minister Shivraj Patil, claiming that the state government had been reduced to a minority.

Sources said the cabinet members were so divided on the issue that the proposal was summarily rejected. A majority of the cabinet was of the opinion that it would be pointless to impose President’s rule in a state that was going to have Assembly polls in a couple of months.

The political crisis in Nagaland began after the DAN government survived a no-confidence motion on December 13.

The Congress that had moved the motion has since been contesting Speaker Kiyanielie Peseyie’s ruling in favour of the government.

The party, which recently formed the Nagaland Progressive Alliance (NPA) with some disgruntled legislators of the Nagaland People’s Front, the Janata Dal (United) and three Independents, claimed to have majority support in the Assembly.

As the NPA leaders started lobbying in Delhi for imposition of President’s rule in the state, the BJP, which is part of the DAN, charged the Congress with playing the toppling game in Nagaland just months before the elections with a “sinister design”.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy alleged that the Congress had a “sinister design” to misuse the government machinery.

Rio also warned that any attempt to impose central rule in the state would derail the ongoing Naga peace process. “Any attempt to dislodge a democratically-elected government will have serious ramifications on the ongoing peace process,” he said recently.

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