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Nagaland party members hold beef fest, invite ‘partisan’ governor to dinner

The NPF had severed its ties with the BJP soon after the governor dismissed Shurhozelie and appointed TR Zeliang as the chief minister.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2017 20:36 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
NPF,Naga People's Front,Nagaland beef festival
NPF members held a beef fest on Friday.(HT Photo)

Members of Naga People’s Front (NPF) loyal to former chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu organised a beef festival in Nagaland capital Kohima on Friday to vent their anger at “partisan” governor PB Acharya.

The youth wing of the pro-Shurhozelie NPF also invited the governor for dinner to take part in the “festival of resentment” at the party’s central office three hours after chief minister TR Zeliang won a trust vote in the 60-member Nagaland assembly by 47 votes to 11.

The house has an effective strength of 59 after the resignation of Shurhozelie’s son Khriehu Liezietsu last month, while speaker Imliwapang Aier did not take part in the voting.

In a statement directed at Acharya, the youth wing of NPF said: “To celebrate your latest political coup, and to mark the severance of ties with your political party the BJP, we are organising a beef feast (Your Excellency knows Nagas are voracious meat eaters) this evening and would like to take this opportunity to invite you to cancel some of your not-so-official engagements in political scheming and to come and join us for dinner at the NPF central office.”

The mocking of the governor went further. “Your Excellency has been terribly busy in the last few days breaking all democratic norms, playing politics and installing your party BJP-friendly government in the state. You have forgotten that the office of the governor should be apolitical and stay away from politics, but you have been acting as the leader of the dissident NPF group... Your attempts to cloak your political decisions with some semblance of legality are transparent and the nakedness of it all is most repulsive and loathsome,” the statement added.

The NPF youth wing accused Acharya of turning a blind eye “to a monumental travesty of democracy where a member (Zeliang) of the assembly, who is expelled from the NPF for a period of six years, has been accepted as the chief whip of the very party from which he has been expelled”.

The governor had angered a section of NPF members by asking Shurhozelie to prove his majority in the House after Zeliang, armed with the written support of 34 of a total 47 NPF legislators, had staked claim to power.

The Shurhozelie-led NPF countered by saying it was the party’s internal crisis and would be resolved within the party, and as such, the governor had “no business” to direct the floor test.

The NPF youth wing also did not take the no-confidence motion moved against Shurhozelie in good humour. But it said sardonically: “We are in a jubilant mood because not only has the NPF severed ties with the BJP for good, you yourself have shown how low you can stoop to achieve your political and religious agenda in the last few days.”

The NPF had severed its ties with the BJP soon after the governor dismissed Shurhozelie and appointed Zeliang as the chief minister on July 19 after the former skipped the floor test along with 10 other MLAs loyal to him.

That day, the BJP submitted a letter to the governor confirming support to the Zeliang-led NPF. The BJP has four MLAs in Nagaland.

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 20:36 IST