Nagaland MLAs evacuated from flooded Kaziranga resort ahead of trust vote
Governor PB Acharya reached Kohima from Delhi for the trust vote on Friday afternoon, even as chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu found himself facing a potential ouster.india Updated: Jul 19, 2017 11:10 IST
A number of dissident Nagaland MLAs were evacuated from a flooded Kaziranga resort by the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) on Friday morning, so they could leave for a trust vote at state capital Kohima later that day.
Former chief minister TR Zeliang and 35 other MLAs of the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) had been camping at the resort since July 8, following a revolt against chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu. Soon after Zeliang staked claim to form the government on July 9, governor PB Acharya directed Liezietsu to undertake a trial of strength in the state assembly by July 15.
An executive at the resort, located in Kohora area of Kaziranga, said an SDRF boat was used to evacuate the MLAs and other people camped there. “The entire resort was booked to accommodate some 130 people from Nagaland. The SDRF evacuated them in batches from 7 am on Friday. The entire operation took four hours,” the executive said on the condition of anonymity. After the legislators were evacuated by boat, they left for Nagaland in a fleet of SUVs parked on the highway.
Through their stay, relatives and acquaintances of the MLAs had been bringing home-cooked food from Nagaland – located 120 km away – on local boats.
The Kaziranga resort is frequently used by Nagaland MLAs and political leaders during power struggles. It witnesses low occupancy from May to October – when the national park is closed for the monsoon.
Meanwhile, Acharya reached Kohima from Delhi for the trust vote on Friday afternoon, even as Liezietsu found himself facing a potential ouster. The previous day, the governor had stated that he was convinced about Zeliang having the required number of legislators to warrant a trial of strength.
The former chief minister claims that he has the support of 43 MLAs – 36 from the NPF and seven independents. He is also confident of bagging the support of four BJP legislators, the NPF’s partners in the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government.
The strength of the 60-member Nagaland assembly was reduced to 59 after Liezietsu’s son, Khriehu, resigned in June to help his father contest from the Northern Angami-I constituency. The by-election for the seat, which the chief minister needs to win to retain his position, is scheduled for July 29.