YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 28 C MIN 22 C BJP GOVT HAS TO INCREASINGLY RESORT TO AUTHORITARIANISM FOR POWER OPINION Rainfall may occur. Rs. 3 KOLKATA SUNDAY, 19 SEPT, 2021 PG- 8, YEAR— 8, ISSUE—123 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) AT A GLANCE INTERSTATE GANG OF AUTO LIFTERS BUSTED IN DELHI, SIX HELD NEW DELHI: Delhi Police on Saturday said they have busted a gang of auto-lifters and arrested six people in this connection. The police had constituted a team of 10 cops to curb and detect the street crime and incidents of robbery, snatching, and theft in the area of the outer north district. The team, after minutely studying the pattern, timings, and modus operandi of all the instances, was able to identify a gang operating in this area. Acting on the basis of specific information, the movement of accused persons, who were active criminals, was revealed in the Shahbad Dairy area. Subsequently, the police laid a trap and conducted a raid wherein initially three accused persons identified as -Sooraj, Ranjeet, and Sagar -- were arrested. During the investigation, names of other autolifters were also revealed. Hence, three more accused -- Arjun, Monu, and Ankit -- all residents of Aman Vihar Delhi - were also apprehended. On further interrogation, it was revealed that accused Sooraj with his co-associates Ranjeet and Sagar used to steal and rob two-wheelers and sell them in Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. The police said they have recovered six stolen motorcycles, one scooty, a bunch of keys, and two live cartridges, adding the probe is still on. SPORTS CMYK 08 SPORTS & www.sanmarglive.com Morning India GAMES SUNDAY, KOLKATA, SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 PELE RECOVERING WELL AFTER 'LITTLE STEP BACK': DAUGHTER IPL 2021: VIRAT KOHLI SHOULD HAVE CONSULTED BCCI, SELECTORS: KAPIL NEW DELHI: Former India cricketer Kapil Dev has said that Virat Kohli should have spoken to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the selectors before taking the decision to step down as the T20 skipper after the ICC T20I World Cup, scheduled in the UAE and Oman later this year. Kohli has taken the decision to manage his workload, which has been quite high in the last 5-6 years as he has led India in all three formats. Though he has been playing in all three formats for "last 8-9 years", Kohli will continue to do so and said he will continue to contribute as a batsman in T20s. The 1983 World Cup-winning captain, Kapil Dev, told ABP News on Friday that, "These days it is a bit surprising to see cricketers making decisions from themselves. I think a player should talk to the selectors and board before making such decisions. I feel a bit odd as he is a great captain and player. Virat is an important player and I wish him all the good luck." In his statement posted on social media, Kohli had said, "I have been fortunate enough to not only represent India but also lead the Indian Cricket Team to my utmost capability. I thank everyone who has supported me in my journey as the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team. I couldn't have done it without them -- the boys, the support staff, the selection committee, my coaches and each and every Indian who prayed for us to win. "Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all 3 formats and captaining regularly for last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI Cricket," Virat had written on Instagram. I AM BEING MADE A SCAPEGOAT FOR THE CANCELLED TEST: RAVI NEW DELHI: Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri has said that he was being made a scapegoat for the cancelled fifth Test against England at Manchester after he and three other members of the support staff tested positive for Covid-19 days after they attended a book-launch function in London. The Virat Kohli-led side was on the threshold of creating history in the Manchester Test after beating England at The Oval in London. However, Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel tested Covid19 positive after their RT-PCR confirmed the infection during The Oval Test. A day before the start of the fifth Test, the second physiotherapist, Yogesh Parmar, too tested positive for the virus, which made the Indian cricketers anxious and led to the cancellation of the match. However, Shastri said that he was getting flak for no fault of his. "They tried to make it that way (make a scapegoat) but I wasn't worried because incubation probably takes weeks. There were about 250 people there (for the book launch function) and no-one got Covid from that party.” Tournament resumes with CSK-MI clash DUBAI: Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the two most successful Indian Premier League franchises (in terms of titles won), will clash in the first match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021's second leg here on Sunday. While CSK are second on the points table with five wins from seven matches - 10 points - MI are fourth with four wins -- eight points -- from seven games. MI have often started slowly, but they have ramped up their performance towards the end of the tournament. In the ongoing season, they seemed to have got into dominating phase in the sixth and seventh matches but then Covid-19 brought the tournament to a halt. It will be interesting to see how they start afresh. MI's two key Indian players -Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah -have just returned from the Test series against England and how quickly they acclimatise to conditions is going to have a bearing on the performance of their team. For CSK, Shardul Thakur will turn up with renewed confidence having churned out a match-winning performance in the fourth Test that India won at The Oval. CSK could have the edge as they will be rested and better prepared. Opening batsman Faf du Plessis will again be vital at the top along with Ruturaj Gaikwad. The South African batsman is the third highest run-getter in the league with 320 runs from seven matches at an average of 64. In the duel in the first leg, Mumbai Indians came out winners by four wickets. Although CSK scored 218/4 in 20 overs in Delhi with half-centuries from Moeen Ali, du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu, MI rode unbeaten 87 off 34 balls to win on the last ball of the match. Knowing the power-hitting strength and batting depth of the two teams, a high-scoring match could be likely. The match and the remaining matches will also be a chance for Rohit to strengthen his credentials as a capable captain. A lot of focus will be on him as he will be against a team led by arguably India's best short-format skipper, MS Dhoni. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli joined his teammates for the first practice session here in Dubai early on Saturday morning after spending six days in quarantine on his return from England. Kohli and pace bowler Mohammed Siraj had reached the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on September 12 on a charter flight from London arranged by the franchise. The duo had gone into six days of mandatory quarantine following their arrival. RCB posted a three-minute video on Saturday morning and tweeted, "Bold Diaries: Virat Kohli joins the RCB team after quarantine -- There were smiles, hugs and laughter in the RCB camp as captain Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj and some of our foreign players had their first hit in the nets. #PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2021." The video showed Kohli and sever- al teammates, who completed their quarantine on Saturday, entering the training ground with their kit bags for an early-morning session and being greeted by fellow cricketers and the coaching staff, including South African stalwart AB de Viliers. Kohli was later seen playing a few lofted cover drives. Siraj said in the video that, "All the batsmen look in great form. It's a good thing for the team that (Glenn Maxwell), Virat bhai and AB (de Villiers) sir are all in good form." RCB's director of cricket operations, New Zealand's Mike Hesson, said that, "It's always good to be face to face rather than discussing strategy (with the skipper) from a distance. It (six days of quarantine) gave him (Virat) a chance to freshen up. Now working on ensuring we are all on the same page." On Siraj, Hesson said, "He has got more and more confident over the last two seasons. Obviously, he has done well for India (in the Test series against England). He is aware of what he wants to do and therefore he shows more confidence." Durand Cup: Hyderabad FC to face Army Red in a must-win encounter KOLKATA: With a spot in the knockout phase for the taking, ISL side Hyderabad FC meet a confident Army Red Football Team in a Group D game at the 130th Durand Cup on Sunday, at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK). A win will ensure either team's passage to the knockout stage of the iconic tournament. Hyderabad FC has three points from two matches so far, courtesy of a win against Assam Rifles and a loss against Gokulam Kerala in their last game. The Reds are relatively better placed with four points from as many games. To qualify for the next stage, they just need to ensure they do not lose on Sunday. Speaking ahead of the game, Hyderabad FC's coach Shameel Chembakath stressed the importance of this mat"h. "Indeed it is a crucial match for us. We will try our best as this is our final chance to qualify. I am very impressed with my players' performance. We will be moving with the same spirit and try our best to get further up the pitch. We will try to return to our winning ways to secure three points. We are all in this toget"er," Chembakath said. He also shared his thoughts on the Army Red team and added, "They are very strong and well drilled. One of the best teams in the group. I believe they have been playing together for quite some years. It makes a lot of difference." Army Red coach Anustup Sarkar also expressed said playing against an ISL side will not add to the pressure. "After facing the full squad of GKFC we are confident to face any team and name may be Hyderabad FC but as we have seen it's not their ISL side. We will go for a win." Gokulam Kerala FC, who are cur- rently on four points, will play Assam Rifles in another deciding Group D match at the Kalyani Stadium on Sunday. RIO DE JANEIRO: Pele is recovering well after surgery to remove a tumour from his colon, his daughter has said. Kely Nascimento took to social media to post a photograph with her father sitting up in a hospital bed after reports circulated that the 80-yearold was readmitted to intensive care. "I don't know what is going on with the rumours out there but my DMs are booming," Nascimento wrote on Friday. "There's already a lot of anxiety roaming the world these days and we don't want to be the reason for more. This photo was taken just now. He is wearing a vest because ... the cold in Sao Paulo bothers him. "He is recovering well and within normal range. Promise! Yesterday he was tired and took a little step back. Today he took two forwards!" Pele underwent surgery at Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein hospital on September 4 after the tumour was found during routine tests. He was moved from intensive care to a private room on Tuesday. The three-time World Cup winner has battled a series of health problems over the past decade, including complications related to hip replacement surgery as well as kidney and prostate conditions. RANINDER SINGH RE-ELECTED AS NRAI PRESIDENT NEW DELHI: Raninder Singh has been re-elected as the President of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on Saturday. The election of the office-bearers and members of the governing body of the NRAI was held in Mohali, Punjab for the term of four years (2021-2025). Kanwar Sultan Singh replaced DV Seetharama Rao as the Secretary-General and Randeep Mann acquired the position of Treasurer after the election result. The Returning Officer declared the result as per 11 (c) of the rules and regulations of the National Rifle Association of India. The National Rifle Association of India is affiliated to International Shooting Sport Federation, Asian Shooting Confederation. TOURNAMENT RESUMES WITH CSK-MI CLASH SPORTS Morning India Former BJP leader Babul Supriyo joins Trinamool Congress Former BJP MP Babul Supriyo joins TMC in presence of MPs Derek O'Brien (left) and Abhishek Banerjee (right) on Saturday MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Former Union Minister and ex-BJP MP Babul Supriyo on Saturday formally joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Supriyo had quit the BJP following recent Union Cabinet reshuffle. Sitting MP Babul Supriyo joined the Trinamool family in the presence of National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien. "We take this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome to him!" said TMC. Earlier in August, BJP leader Babul Supriyo said he will continue to work constitutionally as a Member of Parliament (MP) but has withdrawn himself from active politics. "I will continue to work constitutionally as an MP in Asansol. Politics is beyond the constitutional post and I withdraw myself from it. I will not join any other party. I will vacate the MP bungalow in Delhi and release security personnel from their duties soon," Supriyo said. Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader Supriyo had announced he was leaving politics and will also resign as an MP. He had stated that he would not join any political party and neither have the parties including the Trinamool Congress, CPM or Congress had called him. Babul Supriyo had resigned in August as Minister of State (MoS) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. In a Facebook post, he said that there was a difference of opinion between him and the State BJP leaders and that the difference of opinion among senior leaders was "harming the party". Meanwhile, the Union government has scaled down the armed security cover of Central paramilitary fielders. Cricket, through the T20 format, has become a sport that is revered because of action -- calculations, mighty hits and all in a short space of time. One does not need to get into deeper nuances that were necessary to follow and understand cricket earlier. The duel between bat and ball with a result at the end is what has made people of all ages enjoy the game. The four teams that are likely to make the knockout stage of the tournament have already got themselves ahead of others. Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings need a few wins to secure themselves. They should do so quite comfortably. Mumbai Indians, the most successful IPL side over the years, on the other hand, have to continue the form that they displayed in the last two matches of the first leg of the tournament, to make cut. Mumbai have, in the past, struggled in the league stage. But they have always shown resilience to fight back. Apart from qualifying, they have also won the prestigious title at the end. The most interesting battle in this year's IPL is related to captaincy and leadership skills of the four men at the helm of teams likely to enter the last four stage. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the cool and composed veteran captain of T20 cricket is pitted against the present India captain, Virat Kohli, his possible Indian team captaincy successor Rohit Sharma and the unfathomable young and dynamic Rishabh Pant. Each one has a team of proven players and it will be interesting to see how they can turn their sides into effective fighting units. Normally, teams have time to settle down and structure their playing elevens. This will be like a sprint to the finish line, wherein the captain will play a major part in handling his resources on the field. He will need to evaluate the form and capabilities of each of his players. On the other hand, players will need to adapt to conditions immediately. More than the batters, the bowlers will need to get their act together quickly. The T20 World Cup to immediately follow the IPL in the UAE has brought in a bit of additional importance as well as concern amongst cricketers and franchise owners. The players selected to represent their country would be keen to get an insight into conditions, whereas, the ones who have missed out and are on the fringe, will want to prove their worth in case they are called up as replacement. The worrying part for India, especially, will be the workload that some of their star players will be subjected to before the T20 World Cup. Although every IPL franchise has the goodness of heart and concern for Indian cricket, to expect them to not utilise their stars to the fullest and request them to go easy on their them would not be fair. They have all put in a lot of effort and money, with an ambition to win the prestigious IPL trophy. Indian cricketers have been on the road for more than six months. They have spent most of their time in the cold weather of England. Although IPL is essential for the finances of Indian cricket, one wonders if the Indian players will be mentally and physically fit to participate in a World Cup campaign after the long time on the road and the hot and humid weather in the UAE. The T20 format may be of a much shorter duration, but it requires a cricketer to actively participate in short bursts of muscular movements. Therefore, this format can be very taxing for a tired body. One prays that the likes of Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant and Mohammed Shami do not fall victim to fatigue or injury. If so, this would become a serious concern and impact India's performance in the ICCorganised T20 World Cup. ndia have not won an ICC trophy for the last seven years. The World Test Championship final this year was a good example of the failure of an organisation. New Zealand stole a march over India because they were better prepared and ready for the game. The Test series between India and England was excellent for the traditional format of the game. The matches were closely fought and India had their neck in front with a 2-1 advantage. Unfortunately, Covid-19 had the final say as some of India's support staff were hit by the deadly virus. Postponing or cancelling the match was the only option as the safety of players. CMYK PAGE 8 CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 33,417,390 TOTAL DEATHS: 444,563 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 228,543,955 TOTAL DEATHS: 4,695,347 CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief M i n i s t e r Amarinder Singh on Saturday resigned from the post after a daylong political drama and said he resigned as he felt humiliated. At the same time, he said the "future politics option is always there and I will use that option". "I have given my resignation. The future politics option is always there and I will use that option," the Chief Minister, who was active in the politics for 52 years, told the media after resigning from the post. Without mincing words, he clarified that, "I have not resigned from myself". "I am in Congress, will discuss with my colleagues and then decide the future course of action," he said. Justifying his decision on his resignation in less than six months of the state going to polls, Amarinder Singh said, in the past two months the high command summoned the legislators thrice. "I had decided in the morning. I had spoken to the Congress President in the morning. I had told her I am resigning," Amarinder Singh said. The resignation of the Chief Minister and his council of minister came just minutes ahead of a crucial meeting of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP). The party's high command is learnt to have conveyed to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to resign to enable the election of a new incumbent. According to some senior party leaders, the high command had categorically asked Amarinder Singh to step down. The minute-by-minute changing political tussle began at about 11.42 p.m. on Friday when Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat tweeted about the decision to hold an urgent CLP meeting on Saturday. Almost 10 minutes later state party chief Navjot Sidhu directed all the MLAs to be present at the CLP meeting. The announcement by Rawat was seen as an indication from the high command to appoint the new incumbent under whose helm the party will go to Assembly polls, slated in March 2022. Responding to the political developments, former state President Sunil Jakhar tweeted: "Kudos to Sh Rahul Gandhi for adopting Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of Gordian knot. "Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled Congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis." The decision to call the CLP comes in the wake of the fresh letter signed by a majority of legislators who expressed dissatisfaction with Amarinder Singh and demanding his removal from the Chief Minister's post. Bengal police personnel face India’ Covid vaccine doses cross 80 cr mark ‘harassment’ in UP MI NEWS SERVICE IPL CRICKET CIRCUS IS BACK The most popular cricket league (IPL) will commence on September 19 in the modern and wonderful setting of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). India, in the throes of Covid19 pandemic, was not an ideal place to complete the rest of the tournament and now UAE has become a good alternative. The IPL has become the entertainment circus of the cricket world. Millions are glued to it, enjoying a live story of an uncertain and entertaining ending. Cricket, via the IPL, has garnered a worldwide audience that has brought in young and old viewers and followers. Similar to popular circus that one enjoyed back in the day, the IPL has acrobatic artists, jugglers, jokers, muscular strongmen as batsmen, bowlers and commandos given to Babul Supriyo who left the BJP and joined the Trinamool Congress on Saturday, official sources said. The cover has been reduced from the second-highest level of Z category to Y category, after an order was issued by the Union home ministry on Friday. The security cover given to VVIPs and high-risk personalities under the Central scheme, ranges from the highest Z+ followed by Z, Y+, Y and X categories. Meanwhile, after joining Trinamool Congress (TMC), former Union Minister and sitting Asansol MP Babul Supriyo on Saturday said he wants to work under the leadership of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Supriyo said, "I accepted the opportunity given to me by Didi (Mamata Banerjee) and Abhishek. I left politics wholeheartedly and I am accepting the opportunity wholeheartedly. I met Abhishek Banerjee. The work to be done for Bengal was presented before me. I am very excited. I want to work under the leadership of Didi. I will meet Didi on Monday." Asked about whether he will continue as an MP, Supriyo said, "I am not such kind of a person. There is no question of holding the MP post. I will go to Delhi and tender my resignation before the Speaker." On the other hand, Babul Supriyo on Saturday said he is proud of changing his decision of leaving politics as he got a "great opportunity to serve Bengal". Briefing media-persons, Supriyo said, "I meant it from my heart when I said I will leave politics. However, I felt there was a huge opportunity that was entrusted upon me (on joining TMC). All my friends said my decision to leave politics was wrong and emotional. I am very proud that I am changing my decision. I am coming back for a great opportunity to serve Bengal. I am very excited. I will meet Didi (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) on Monday. I am overwhelmed by the warm welcome." "Didi and Abhishek have given me a great opportunity. As I have joined TMC, there is no point in holding on to my seat in Asansol. I have come into politics because of Asansol. I will do for that constituency as much as possible," he added. I resigned as I felt humiliated, says Amarinder Singh KOLKATA: The West Bengal Police personnel have reportedly become victims of 'harassment' in Yogi Adityanath's Uttar Pradesh. It is alleged that State police officers had to go to Uttar Pradesh to arrest a BJP Youth Front leader. The leader allegedly threatened to kill Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He also said that a reward of Rs. 11 lakh would be given to the killer. It is alleged that the Youth Front leader made this threat four years ago. A complaint was lodged against him with the police in this regard. On Friday, the State police went to his house in Aligarh to arrest him. It is alleged that the policemen were detained at home and harassed. They were also allegedly beaten up. Later the Uttar Pradesh police reached there. Later Uttar Pradesh Police rescued their trapped counterparts from Bengal. The BJP Youth Front leader could not be arrested. It may be mentioned that a case was filed against the BJP Youth Front leader in Birbhum's Bolpur in 2016. The CID then started investigating the incident. Earlier, the police went to arrest the accused leader. But even then they had to return empty- handed. On Friday, a team of four CID officers accompanied by the police from Gandhi Park police station in Uttar Pradesh went to the house of the Youth Front leader. But there they were surrounded by the supporters of the leader. It is alleged that the police personnel were abused. They were allegedly beaten up. Later the Uttar Police went and rescued them. From there they are said to have returned to Delhi. Gandhi Park police have started an investigation into the incident. NEW DELHI: With the administration of more than 2.5 crore vaccine doses on Friday, India's Covid vaccination coverage on Saturday surpassed the landmark figure of 80 crores. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on social media, "India has administered 80 crore COVID-19 vaccines doses". The Health Minister, using the hashtag "WorldsLargestVaccinationDr ive on social media, said, "Standing tall against COVID19. India administers 80 crore vaccine doses. Congratulations to the nation on this momentous feat." In an other tweet he said that India took 85 days to touch the 10-crore vaccination mark, 45 more days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach the 30crore mark. He continued saying that the country took 24 days to reach 40 crore from 30 crore doses and then 20 more days to cross the 50crore vaccination. It took 19 more days to go past the 60-crore mark and took only 13 days to reach 70 crore from 60 crore and only 11 days to reach 80 crore from 70 crores, he said on Social media. India on Friday set a new world record of administering highest number of vaccines against Covid-19 in one day. India achieved the milestones of administering over 2.50 crs vaccines under the Vaccine Seva campaign to mark the 71th birthday of PM Modi. As per the data, India's total number of vaccination on Friday climbed to 2,50,10,390 by midnight, making a world record in a day. The minister Mandaviya is a on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir in connection with Centre's outreach programme where he visited GMC Baramulla, J&K, and inaugurated a 50-bed portable health care unit to enhance medical facilities in remote areas. Opposition less all-party UDA govt formed in Nagaland KOHIMA: In a significant political development, all the ruling and opposition parties in Nagaland, consequent upon their earlier agreement, on Saturday decided to form an all-party government named as United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said. After the meeting of the leaders of the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party, opposition party Naga People's Front (NPF) and two Independent MLAs, the Chief Minister announced the formation of the UDA government. He tweeted: "The nomenclature of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) for the opposition-less gov- ernment in Nagaland has been unanimously resolved by the legislators and party leaders of the NDPP, BJP, NPF and Independent MLAs." A statement signed by the leaders of all the parties said that the meeting of the legislators and party leaders of the NDPP, BJP, NPF and Independent MLAs was held at the state banquet hall in Kohima where it was unanimously resolved to adopt the nomenclature of UDA for the opposition less government in Nagaland. The meeting unanimously resolved to reiterate the joint resolution between the three parties signed on August 11 and 13 to resolve the Naga political issue involving various outfits, including the NSCN (IM), the statement said. Besides Rio, other leaders who signed the joint press declaration included Deputy Chief Minister and BJP's legislature party leader Y. Patton, NPF legislature party leader and outgoing opposition leader T.R. Zeliang, NDPP President Chingwang Konyak, NPF Secretary General Achumbemo Kikon, state BJP President Temjen Imna Along and Independent MLA Tongpang Ozukum. When approached by the media, the Chief Minister did not specify the NPF MLAs to be accommodated in the new cabinet headed by him. The 60-member Assembly has an effective strength of 59 after the death of an MLA. The NPF is the single largest party with 25 seats, followed by the NDPP with 20 and the BJP with 12, while two are Independent MLAs. The BJP was the ally of the NPF in Nagaland and neighbouring Manipur before choosing the NDPP as its partner before the 2018 Nagaland Assembly polls. The ruling and opposition parties have been making hectic efforts for the past several months to form an all-party government in the northeastern state with an aim to take forward the Naga political issue between the Centre and Naga outfits and various other groups. "We have come together under a common platform to resolve the long-awaited Naga political issue. We wish the Naga issue is settled before Christmas," Zeliang told the media. The central leaders of the BJP, including party President J.P. Nadda, had recently in principle supported the move for an all-party government in Nagaland. The latest political devel- opment comes after almost all the parties in the northeastern state came together following the formation of the Core Committee on Naga Political Issue (CCoNPI) led by Rio (convener) on June 16. Nagaland Congress leaders said that the decision of the opposition NPF to join the Chief Minister Rio-led government "on the pretext of Naga political issue to converge into an opposition-less government" is an insult to the people of the state, as they fought the 2018 Assembly polls against the BJP. The Congress in a statement also alleged that the main purpose for the political matrimony between the NPF and the ruling parties is to "raid the state exchequer and enjoy the perks of office while delaying the implementation of a Naga political solution". The Central government has been separately holding peace talks with the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) and eight other outfits, which came together a few years ago under the banner of 'Naga National Political Groups' (NNPGs). The NSCN-IM and other outfits entered into a ceasefire agreement with the government of India in 1997 and in the subsequent years and held a political dialogue since then. The NSCN-IM, the dominant Naga group since August 1997, has held around 80 rounds of negotiations with the Centre.