10 northeast parties form joint forum ahead of polls

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 20, 2013 14:20 hrs

Guwahati, Oct 20 (IANS) Ahead of next year's Lok Sabha polls, 10 regional political parties in the northeast Sunday decided to get together on one platform.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphu Rio announced the formation of the North East Regional Political Front (NERPF) after a day-long meeting here.

"The NERPF is a joint political platform of all the regional political parties of northeast to jointly pursue the regional agenda," said Rio, who will be its chief convenor.

The NERPF includes Rio's Nagaland Peoples Front (NPF), Assam's main regional party Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the United Democratic Party (UPD) of Meghalaya and many others.

"Assam is the mother state of all the northeastern states. New Delhi and mainland India know northeast as one entity so there is the need to present the region as single entity and hence the platform," Rio said.

He said that the coming Lok Sabha poll is their first target.

"This front is a political front where there will be federation of regional parties. Already we have 10 regional parties in our fold and talks are on with other regional parties," he added.

On being asked whether the Front will maintain an equal distance from the country's major parties, Rio evaded giving a direct answer. "It could be equal distance or equal closeness and only time will tell us what to do," he quipped.

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