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CM Zeliang ready to prove majority in Nagaland trust vote, Liezietsu calls dismissal ‘illegal’

TR Zeliang was appointed chief minister for the second time under the third term of the NPF-led DAN government after governor PB Acharya dismissed his predecessor Shurhozelie Liezietsu.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2017 23:59 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Kohima
Nagaland,Zeliang,Nagaland trust vote
TR Zeliang was sworn-in as the new chief minister of Nagaland by Governor PB Acharya in Kohima on Wednesday. (PTI File Photo)

TR Zeliang, who was reappointed chief minister of Nagaland under dramatic circumstances on Wednesday, is ready to face the floor test on Friday to prove his majority in the Assembly.

Zeliang will move the Vote of Confidence in the Assembly as an MLA of the Naga People’s Front, though he has been expelled from the party for six years, a spokesperson of Zeliang’s group Tokheho Yeptho said.

“As per the Tenth Schedule amendment of 2006, an elected member of any party cannot (rpt) cannot be declared unattached in the Assembly even though he is expelled by the party,” Yeptho, an MLA, asserted.

He also expressed confidence that with the support of 36 NPF MLAs, seven Independents, and four BJP MLAs, which takes the number to 47 in the House of 60, Zeliang is sure of commanding a majority in the House.

Zeliang took over the mantle after incumbent chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu was dismissed by Governor P B Acharya, capping a rebellion in the ruling NPF he had spearheaded.

The Governor directed Zeliang to prove his majority in the Assembly by July 22 and the chief minister agreed to do so by tomorrow.

Zeliang was appointed chief minister for the second time under the third term of the NPF-led DAN government.

Zeliang was compelled to step down as chief minister in February in the face of massive protest against his government for conducting elections to urban local bodies with 33 per cent reservation for women.

Meanwhile, MLA Yitachu, spokesperson for legislators backing Liezietsu, told PTI that 11 MLAs would be attending Friday’s trust vote under an NPF whip.

He affirmed that it was the apex body of the party which would issue the whip and not the legislature party.

‘Illegal’ dismissal

Dethroned Nagaland chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu alleged that the Governor Acharya’s decision dismissing his government and installing Zeliang as chief minister was “illegal and unconstitutional”.

Interacting with the media at his official residence on Thursday, Liezietsu alleged, “The Governor dismissed my government without following any procedure and rules....it was illegal and unconstitutional.”

Recalling the sequence of events since June 8 leading to his dethroning, Liezietsu, who is the president of the ruling NPF, said that the dissident MLAs had staked claim to form the new government from Kaziranga in Assam.

The court had stated that the Governor should exercise his mind on the matter, he pointed out, but the Governor might not have got time to do so as by 6pm the same night he wrote to him asking to prove my majority by 9:30 the next morning.

He said that he wrote back to the Governor requesting that it was not possible as his supporting legislators were not in station due to personal engagements and therefore kindly consider another date for the floor test.

Liezietsu also alleged that the Governor did not reply to his request but the next morning, without informing him about any further decision, went ahead with the Assembly proceedings.

Terming the present situation as a ‘temporary setback’, Liezietsu asserted, “We do not have any bad feelings against anybody because we stand for truth and it will win at the end”.

On the decision to contest the by-election to become a regular member of the House and continue the chair, Liezietsu clarified that it was because the state cabinet had on May 26 asked him to contest the poll which was also supported by the NPF Central Executive Council.

As for Friday’s floor test, Liezietsu said, “A whip has been issued to all NPF legislators in the Assembly to vote against the motion moved by Zeliang”.

He said that anybody voting against the whip would be dealt with as per the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

First Published: Jul 20, 2017 23:59 IST