Nagaland floor test tomorrow after court dismisses CM Liezietsu’s plea

The governor’s directive to the Nagaland assembly speaker said the agenda of the special session would be “to test the majority support of the present cabinet” led by Shurhozelie.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2017 20:06 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Nagaland,Nagaland floor test,Nagaland CM
Nagaland CM Shurhozelie Liezietsu after his swearing in ceremony at Kohima, Nagaland.(PTI File Photo)

Nagaland governor PB Acharya has summoned a special session of the state assembly on Wednesday, a day after the Gauhati high court’s Kohima Bengh dismissed chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu’s petition against a trial of strength in the assembly.

The governor’s directive to the Nagaland assembly speaker said the agenda of the special session would be “to test the majority support of the present cabinet” led by Shurhozelie.

Shurhozelie had gone to court on July 14 challenging Acharya’s July 9 call to prove his majority on the floor of the house on or before July 15. The court on Saturday gave Shurhozelie a temporary breather by deferring the floor test.

Hearing the case again on Tuesday, the court left it to the “wisdom of the governor” to take a decision on the floor test after “proper application of mind”.

Acharya had last week intervened after former chief minister TR Zeliang, backed in writing by 34 of the 47 legislators of the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF), revolted against Shurhozelie’s “undemocratic” and “nepotism-driven” governance and staked claim to power.

The Zeliang-led dissident camp later claimed the support of 43 MLAs – 36 of them from NPF and seven Independents. The Zeliang group had camped at a resort in Kaziranga from July 8 morning until they had to be evacuated on July 14 due to flood.

The dissidents were particularly annoyed after Shurhozelie appointed his son Khriehu Liezietsu as his advisor with cabinet minister status. It was seen as repayment to the son who gave up his Northern Angami-I assembly seat so Shurhozelie could get elected to continue as chief minister.

Shurhozelie is not a member of the 60-member Nagaland assembly, now with an effective strength of 59 after Khriehu’s resignation in June. The by-poll to the seat is scheduled on July 29.

After the court order, a Bharatiya Janata Party delegation met the governor and submitted a letter of support for Zeliang. BJP is a constituent of the NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government.

Shurhozelie has been critical of the BJP in the past few days, indicating the party was pro-Zeliang.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 20:06 IST