There appears to be simmering discontent within the ranks of the NDPP and BJP over the issues of induction and delay of portfolio allocation even as legislators of both the pre-poll partners are believed to be holed up in hotels in Kohima and Dimapur. Paiwang Konyak is a senior BJP legislator who had won a party ticket in 2013 and in 2018 has been sidelined. Even in the NDPP camp too, there are several senior leaders who have not been considered for the cabinet. Owing to the peculiar BJP and NDPP quota where NDPP which has 18 seats has only four including the chief minister in the cabinet, while BJP with 12 MLAs has six in the cabinet including the post of deputy chief minister.
The distribution of the cabinet has also rankled some NDPP members with veteran legislator Pohwang Konyak expressing his view that the pre-poll alliance had greatly benefitted BJP. Pohwang said BJP demanded six cabinet berths including the post of deputy CM which was given. However, after sacrificing in the interest of PDA coalition, and after giving what was demanded, Pohwang said it was not fair that BJP was again arm twisting to get plump portfolios. ‘Just because BJP is ruling at the Centre does not mean that the party can act like this,’ he said.
Pohwang also said that the people want a stable government and in order to avoid instability, he did not insist on cabinet berth as he wanted the coalition government under chief minister Neiphiu Rio to run effectively. Another NDPP legislator, speaking on condition of anonymity said BJP should have been given four cabinet berths considering that it has 12 MLAs. If BJP persisted, he said it could have been offered five at the most so that NDPP could get one in addition to four it currently has. The legislator was also peeved that his colleagues were kept in the dark about cabinet formation. Another NDPP legislator however said he was more keen that the party alliance get to work but at the same time, felt that BJP was trying to undercut the spirit of alliance.