Nagaland CM Zeliang Wins Trust Vote With Support of 47 MLAs

This is Zeliang’s second stint as Nagaland Chief Minister. He quit in February over protests over civil polls.

3 min read
TR Zeliang, was reappointed Chief Minister of Nagaland on 19 July, replacing Shurhozelie Liezietsu, who was sacked by Governor P B Acharya.

TR Zeliang, who was reappointed Chief Minister of Nagaland on 19 July – replacing Shurhozelie Liezietsu who was sacked by Governor P B Acharya – won the vote of confidence in the state assembly with 47 out of 59 votes.

Zeliang moved the Vote of Confidence in the Assembly as an MLA of the Naga People's Front, even though he has been expelled from the party for six years for “anti-party activities,” 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 has earlier 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.

Within hours of becoming the new CM, the Naga People's Front (NPF) expelled Zeliang for six years for "anti-party activities", indicating the political turmoil was far from over. NPF working presidents Huska Yepthomi and Apong Pongener said:

He was adamant and has already planned to dismantle the NPF party.

They said the decision was taken to “keep peace in the party.” Zeliang, however, was unfazed saying he would continue to remain the NPF leader in the House. He said:

The expulsion from the party does not affect the membership inside the House.

Zeliang’s Second Stint as Chief Minister

Governor PB Acharya administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 65-year-old Zeliang in a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan in Kohima on Wednesday.

This is the second time Zeliang will be the Chief Minister after he resigned in February 2017 following violent protests by tribal groups opposed to his move to hold civic polls with 33 percent seats reserved for women.


Liezietsu FailS to Secure Majority

Shurhozelie Liezietsu, 80, was made to come out of retirement from electoral politics to take over as Chief Minister following Zeliang's resignation.

Acharya dismissed the government under Clause (I) of Article 164 of the Constitution after receiving a letter from Assembly Speaker Imtiwapang Aier on Liezietsu's failure to prove his majority in the Assembly.

Liezietsu did not attend the Assembly session convened at 9.30 am for the purpose of testing his legislative majority.

“Forty-eight legislators (including the Speaker) attended the session. Therefore, it is clear that Liezietsu has failed to obtain the vote of confidence despite repeated opportunities given for the same,” the Governor said.

The Governor had on 11 July told Liezietsu to seek a vote of confidence on or before 15 July.

“We don't understand the urgency of summoning the Assembly session since the ongoing political development is an internal matter within the NPF party and the matter should be resolved outside the House,” Yitachu, a spokesperson for Liezietsu's group, said.

Liezietsu, a non-elected member to the 60-member House, had the support of 10 NPF legislators and an Independent member.

Zeliang, who staked claim to form a new government, was in the House with his supporters – 35 NPF and four BJP legislators besides seven Independent members.

Charges of Nepotism Against Liezietsu

The rebellion in the ruling coalition erupted when a section of the NPF accused Liezietsu of indulging in nepotism by appointing his son Khriehu Liezietsu as his advisor with cabinet status.

But Khriehu Liezietsu declined the appointment to be an advisor to his father.

In the 60-member Assembly, one seat is vacant. The ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland coalition has 47 NPF legislators, four Bharatiya Janata Party members and eight Independents.

Liezietsu had filed his nomination paper as NPF nominee for contesting the 29 July by-election from Northern Angami-I assembly constituency.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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