The issue of government formation in Nagaland took a new turn today with both NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio and outgoing Chief Minister T R Zeliang of the NPF staking claim to form the government with the support of a majority of the MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.
After meeting Zeliang, Acharya told reporters that Rio and Zeliang have claimed to have majority support, but "I have not invited anyone to form the government as of now. I have given them 48 hours time to submit the signatures of the elected members supporting them".
"As the constitutional head, my duty is to see who has the majority and call him to form the new government. Whoever brings the signatures of more than 30 elected members I will accept," he said as the political situation in the state became fluid.
Acharya had earlier said he asked Rio to submit signatures of all the 32 MLAs supporting him by tomorrow.
Rio was declared as the chief ministerial candidate of the NDPP-BJP alliance by the combine.
The Governor said, "Technically and legally the present government can go on till March 13 and if the Chief Minister T R Zeliang does not have majority, he has to resign."
He hoped that a new government will be installed in the state at the earliest.
The Nagaland poll results declared yesterday had given a hung mandate with the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) winning 26 seats, the BJP 12, the NDPP 18, the National People's Party (NPP) two and the JD(U) and and Independent one each.
Acharya said, "I was thinking that Zeliang will come and put in his resignation but he still thinks he can form the government and he has the majority."
He said Zeliang has submitted a list of 26 NPF MLAs and two NPP and one JD(U) legislators.
Acharya said he told Zeliang about JD(U) legislator submitting letter of support to Rio in the morning.
Zeliang has expressed hope of gaining the support of the BJP to form the government, he said.
He said the NPF has asked the BJP to clarify whether it has broken the alliance or it is with the NPF but there was no any reply.
"Zeliang is also right and let the letter come and let him be convinced whether the BJP is with him or not. Once things are clear, we will have to take a decision", the governor said.
Efforts of reporters to reach Zeliang were unsuccessful.
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