Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang may have won the floor test with an overwhelming support of the entire House including the opposition Congress members’ votes, but trouble from within his ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) appears far from being over. The dissidents within the NPF have once again threatened to pull him down.
“We will continue with our legitimate demand for Zeliang to step down as chief minister. Our move was not to dislodge the NPF government, but only to remove Zeliang, and this move will continue,” former industry minister G Kaito Aye, whom the 21 dissident NPF legislators had last month projected as an alternative to Zeliang, said in Kohima.
“The question of removing the DAN government or going aganst our own party does not arise. That exactly is why we voted in its favour. But we will continue with our demand till such time it is achieved,” Kaito said.
On Thursday, when Nagaland governor PB Acharya called a special one-day session of the state assembly in Kohima, all members cutting across party lines – including the eight Congress MLAs who comprise the opposition – voted in favour of the chief minister’s trust motion.
While Chief Minister Zeliang claimed that “truth had prevailed”, the dissidents later met again and reiterated their demand for his dismissal. The dissidents are now also looking ahead to a decision by the Election Commission on a petition that the faction had filed seeking recognition as the “real” NPF. The Commission has fixed February 16 for both factions to file their claims.
“The state has been engulfed by crisis after crisis in the seven months under the chief ministership of TR Zeliang. The chief minister has totally failed to provide an efficient administration and development was pushed to the backseat. Instability has gripped the state and the government is now under control of a few who formed a syndicate,” the dissidents later said in a press release.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha member and former chief minister Neiphiu Rio has blamed Chief Minister Zeliang for the crisis in the party and the government. “The chief minister should not unnecessarily blame me for the crisis. It is a creation of NPF president Shurhozelie Liezietsu and chief minister TR Zeliang. “The entire movement gained momentum because of the party president Shürhozelie becoming autocratic and his doors for the aggrieved legislators were closed, despite they approached him for discussions,” he claimed. “If they (Zeliang nd Shurhozelie) are blaming me for the crisis, then they have the guilty conscience for what they did while I was to leave for Delhi,” Rio said