The central leadership of Congress has suspended and issued showcause notices to its eight MLAs who have joined T R Zeliang-led Nagaland People’s Front government in which BJP is already a partner.
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Among the Congress MLAs who joined the Nagaland government on Friday include legislature party leader Tokheho Yepthomi. Of the eight MLAs, one was inducted as minister and five others as parliamentary secretaries. One of the Congress MLAs is likely to be appointed adviser to the government, while the other as deputy speaker.
With Congress joining the Zeliang government, there is now no opposition in the state. Sources in Congress said the high command was aware of such plans by a section of the party, but could not prevent it. As a pre-emptive step, Congress four days ago had sacked state Congress chief S I Jamir, who is likely to be appointed as adviser to the government.
The party had appointed former state finance minister Kewekhape Therie as its state chief last Tuesday. The central leadership is not contemplating dissolving the state unit altogether since there is a new PCC chief in place.
Interestingly, Therie was also once with NPF.
Besides suspending the eight MLAs, party sources said the high command is exploring all the legal options available. “ We cannot tolerate such a dissent. It is against all norms,” a senior Congress leader told The Sunday Express. Since all the eight MLAs have joined the government, the law of disqualification would not apply. However, they are likely to expelled from Congress after they send their replies to the party high command.