DIMAPUR, May 27 � An atmosphere of calm and gloom reigns among the Naga People's Front (NPF) supporters in Manipur and elsewhere as the name of Neiphiu Rio did not figure among the 45 Union ministers sworn-in Monday in New Delhi.
The NPF leaders and the people in Nagaland were hopeful that Rio would be alloted a cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi ministry. It is a case of hope against hope for the NPF supporters.
The Neiphiu Rio hype in Nagaland climaxed after the latter had given a speech at the Central Hall of the Parliament along with Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi on May 20.
Just after Narendra Modi had finished his speech, BJP patriarch LK Advai introduced Neiphiu Rio to the gathering where NDA leaders and chiefs of the alliance where present saying, "It is fortunate the NDA for the first time has an MP from Nagaland." LK Advani then invited Neiphiu Rio to speak on the occasion.
The impromptu speech of Neiphiu Rio had reportedly enthralled the gathering with Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi nodding in affirmation.
Rio had said that 'better days are ahead for the North East region" with the NDA returning to power. Rio had also told the gathering that �I feel I can take bigger responsibility for the Northeastern states in building the nation, the mighty India�. "With this massive mandate to NDA and particularly endorsing the leadership of Modiji we are committed to the alliance and I hope that the country would turn back to the North East people, their problems�, Neiphiu Rio added in his speech in the Parliament House.
Since then the hype was building up in Nagaland as the rapport between Neiphiu Rio and the BJP leaders was displayed on May 20. Sometime ago a picture of Rio and Modi embracing was carried in newspapers showing how intimate and comfortable the two leaders were.
Speculations were rife now that Neiphiu Rio was likely to get the ministerial berth in the Modi ministry. Neiphiu Rio took the decision to contest the Lok Sabha poll early last year only after meeting Narendra Modi. Sources said Narendra Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat and Rio, the chief minister of Nagaland met on the capacity as two chief ministers and had exchanged niceties on several occasions. "Modiji had assured us something good and so that's how we had decided to contest the Lok Sabha poll in the interest of the North East region," said an aide of Neiphiu Rio to Newmai News Network few days ago.