Political Turmoil in Nagaland
Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang
NEW DELHI: The state of Nagaland is in a complete political turmoil amid claims of forming a new government by the NPF dissident group led by G. Kaito Aye on the one hand, while on the other, Naga Peoples Front (NPF) asserting that the present govt under the present Chief Minister TR Zeliang would continue.
The current political crisis within the ruling NPF may also lead to a third possible option- the President’s rule, according to some analysts.
Zeliang, the present Chief Minister of Nagaland sacked two ministers along with the suspension of five other MLAs from primary membership of ruling NPF by the NPF President following an open rebellion on Tuesday with dissident NPF group of legislators demanding a change in leadership.
The dissident NPF legislators asserted that they have elected a new leader, G Kaito Aye and that Zeliang should step down.
As a result of this declaration, Zeliang sacked Aye and Roads and Bridges Minister Kuzholuzo Azo Nienu. They were also suspended along with five other MLAs from primary membership of the party by the party’s President Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu for allegedly “conspiring to overthrow” the NPF-led government in Nagaland.
This sacking and suspension has received support from the main constituent of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN), the NPF itself.
Endorsing the action by the CM and NPF’s President, eight office bearers of the party issued a release. The release, signed by Zaku Tsukru, vice president, Pinyimthung Lotha, chairman, Life Membership Cell, Pusazo Luruo, VP, S Shingyu, VP, BP Hanghuh, general secretary and Blaise Iheilung, general secretary said the action was taken after prolonged endurance since party was of the view that discipline which is the trade mark of the party men and women will be upheld in all times.
“We remind the party of all rank and file that constitution is supreme and anybody who acts on their own whims will not be tolerated”, they further cautioned.
Reiterating that Zeliang would continue as the Chief Minister, it said that any attempt to disrupt the present arrangement by proposing to replace the leadership is in complete contravention of the party norms and practices.
Further claiming that the government could only be formed by the “official” party and not by a group with vested interest, NPF members from within chief minister T.R. Zeliang’s camp asserted that the DAN as an alliance was formed by political parties and not by elected members , also pointing out that BJP was a pre-poll alliance partner of the NPF.
Advocacy of this decision has also come from NPF central women wing.
In a press release, the central women wing’s working president Banuo Sanchu appealed all NPF legislators to come together and remain united for the greater interest of NPF and the people of the state.
Additionally, the Chief Minister himself came out openly after the entire controversy yesterday affirming that the party’s utmost priority is to provide the people with a stable government in repay for giving them an absolute mandate to run the affairs of the state.
Commenting on the crisis within this part-led DAN government, he said “It is unfortunate that some disgruntled elements within the NPF legislators have taken their self-interest above the people’s welfare and have been brazenly trying to victimise the people by attempting to disrupt the smooth sailing of the duly-elected Government”.
Zeliang further stated that the elected members should know that the ultimate victim of the fallout of the unstable government is the common man, adding that the changing leadership two or three times during the five-year tenure “without any valid reason” will leave no time for the government to work for the people and which would be a failure “on our part” as responsible elected members.
Meanwhile, the Kaito group i.e. the NPF dissident group met Governor P.B. Acharya on Wednesday evening to discuss the formation of a new government since the “minority government” doesn’t have the support, according to them.
The dissident group has demanded the immediate dismissal of the “minority government” headed by T.R. Zeliang, who the group claimed to have lost the support and confidence of the majority. The group also demanded T.R. Zeliang immediately step down and pave the way for installation of a popular government in the greater interest of the people of Nagaland.
In a press release, the spokesperson of the rival NPF Legislature Party Imkong Imchen said Kaito was accompanied by Kuzholuzo Neinhu (Azo), CM Chang, Deo Nukhu, Dr. TM Lotha and him.
Also, the Kaito group appealed to the NPF President to release the MLAs who have been “forcefully confined under house arrest conditions” in the Hotel Oriental Grand in Kohima using the state’s police forces.
Terming action as “completely undemocratic, dictatorial”, the dissident group said that it was a suppression of the rights of the elected members.
“Forceful confinement of the Honorable members is a disrespect of the people’s voice and there are several members who want to strengthen the leadership of Kaito Aye but they are being denied their rights and we appeal to the state’s forces and law enforcing agencies to ensure that the democratic process upheld and the law is not vitiated”, read the press release.