NPF Suspends Two More Legislators, Claims Zeliang Govt Enjoys Majority Support
Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang
NEW DELHI: In a latest development in the Nagaland political scene, the ruling Naga Peoples Front (NPF) has suspended two more of its legislators on Saturday with its President Shurhozelie Liezietsu claiming that the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government led by TR Zeliang enjoys the majority support.
Backing the present Chief Minister’s request to the Governor for summoning a special session of assembly for a trial of strength between the factions of NPF, Liezietsu said that the present imbroglio can be resolved only through the Assembly.
Further, he added that once the session is held, the confusion among the people of the state on the choice of leadership would be cleared.
On the other hand, the dissident group is claiming to have 25 legislators, including 22 NPF and three BJP.
However, NPF President made it clear that the alliance partners of NPF-led DAN cannot extend support to the dissident group as they are pre-poll ally of NPF.
It is pertinent to mention here that out of the 60-member Nagaland Assembly, Naga People’s Front has a total of 38 members supported by pre-poll alliance partners – four BJP and one JD(U) while one NCP and 8 Independent MLAs are also extending outside support to it. Opposition Congress has 8 members.
Meanwhile, the Minister for PHE Noke Wangnao and another NPF MLA Imkong L Imchen have also been suspended from the party for anti-party activities. Announcing their suspension, NPF President said that the two suspended legislators, by their actions of associating themselves with detractors, have committed serious breach of discipline of the NPF as enshrined in the constitution of the party.
With this, the NPF has overall suspended a total of three ministers, five parliamentary secretaries and one MLA from the party.
Earlier, CM Zeliang in consultation with NPF President had sacked two ministers along with the suspension of five other MLAs from primary membership of ruling NPF following an open rebellion on Tuesday last week 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.
The earlier sacking and suspension had 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 came from the NPF central women wing.
On the other hand, the Kaito group i.e. the NPF dissident group met Governor P.B. Acharya last Wednesday evening to discuss the formation of a new government since the “minority government” doesn’t have the support, according to them.