With the political crisis in Nagaland showing no signs of abating, Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu on Saturday once again dismissed the Raj Bhavan’s directive to seek a trust vote amid former chief minister TR Zeliang’s claim that he had more MLAs on his side and asserted that the incumbent government is going strong. “When there is no confidence motion tabled against me there is no point of me going to the floor,” Liezietsu was quoted as saying by ANI.
The Nagaland Chief Minister insisted he has the support of all the parties and branded the MLAs, who have been camping at a resort in Kaziranga National Park to discuss the transition of power, as “prodigal sons”. “Running the government normally. I have all the party with me. Many of our friends have gone away, they are the prodigal sons; They have run away from home, parents. They can’t claim govt from Assam. Still holding the fort here,” Liezietsu said.
“It is shameful, how people outside of Nagaland look up to us. I am running the offices normally. Govt is going strong,” he added.
The latest development comes a day after the Guwahati High Court stayed till Monday the Nagaland governor’s directive to CM Liezietsu to seek a trust vote in the assembly on or before July 15. The Kohima bench of the high court had stayed Governor P B Acharya’s order on a plea by Liezietsu and slated the matter for further hearing on Monday. In his petition, Liezietsu argued that the governor’s directive was “ex facie unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary and violative of the basic features of the Constitution”.
Earlier, Governor P B Acharya had stated that he was “prima facie convinced” that former CM Zeliang enjoys “majority support”. In a letter to Liezietsu on Thursday evening, Acharya had said his refusal to prove majority on the floor of the Assembly was “unjustified”, and once again asked him to seek a trust vote. A press release issued by Raj Bhavan claimed that the Chief Minister did not refute Zeliang’s claim that he enjoyed the support of 44 MLAs in a House with an effective strength of 59.
The 41 MLAs demanding Shurhozelie’s resignation and appointment of Zeliang in his place have also been accusing the CM of using his powers as president of the ruling NPF and resorting to “all undemocratic and inconceivable methods of a dictator” by suspending MLAs and ministers who are elected representatives of the people.
Liezietsu became the Chief Minister on February 22 this year after Zeliang stepped down in the wake of violent protest by tribal groups who strongly opposed his bid to hold civic polls with 33 per cent reservation for women. The fresh turmoil has hit the state at a time when Liezietsu is gearing up for the July 29 by-election from the Northern Angami-I assembly constituency.
At present, Nagaland assembly has an effective strength of 59. The ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland coalition government comprises 47 NPF legislators, including ten suspended, four BJP leaders and eight Independents.
With PTI inputs