Kohima, March 2 (IANS) The Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) has unanimously elected Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio as its legislature party leader and he is likely to meet Governor Nikhil Kumar soon to stake claim for forming the next government in the state, NPF leaders said Saturday.
While Rio's Naga Peoples Front (NPF) - the main constituent of DAN - has won 38 seats, other partners - the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal-United bagged one seat each, taking the total strength of the ruling alliance to 40, or two-thirds in the 60-member house.
"A meeting of the party legislators have unanimously re-elected Rio as the NPF legislature party last night," said Rio's press secretary Abu Metha.
"This followed another meeting with the DAN partners - BJP and JD (U). Rio was also elected as the leader of the DAN in the combined legislature party," he said.
"Rio's name was proposed by veteran leader from Mon, Noke Konyak, and supported by Roads and Bridges Minister G. Kaito Aye in the first meeting," said Metha while adding that in the DAN legislature party meeting, Rio's name was proposed by BJP member P. Paiwang Konyak and unanimously accepted by all.
"A date for meeting the Governor is, however, yet to be fixed," he added.
Rio has been chief minister since 2003.
Although with 38 members, the NPF is in a position to form the government on its own, yet it is keeping all the partners together to strengthen the DAN and also to provide stable governance in the state, party sources said.
Polls were held Feb 23 for 59 assembly seats while the election to Tuensang Sadar I assembly constituency has been countermanded due to death of Congress candidate P. Chuba Chang, and will be now held March 23.