Kohima, July 18 (IANS) The Gauhati High Court’s Kohima bench on Tuesday upheld Nagaland Governor P.B. Acharya’s directive to Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu to prove his majority in the assembly, following which Acharya sought an special session on Wednesday for the floor test.
The Naga Political Front, led by Lieziestsu, summoned an emergency meeting at which they decided to ask President Pranab Mukherjee to recall Acharya immediately so that the “sanctity of the gubernatorial Office in the State is maintained in future”.
While issuing a whip to all its 47 legislators to vote in favour, the NPF, which is also a constituents of the ruling National Democratic Alliance at the Centre and in Manipur, decided to sever ties with the BJP, with which it has been associated for decades.Earlier in the day, Justice Lanusungkum Jamir dismissed Liezietsu’s writ petition challenging the Governor’s directive noting “that the petitioner does not enjoy the support from the majority of the House and therefore, it is open to the Governor to act at his own, without any aid and advice”.
The court also rejected Liezietsu’s plea for sufficient time to obtain the vote of confidence but did not fix any date, leaving this to the Governor.
Hours later, Acharya asked Speaker Imtiwapang Aier to convene to summon a special assembly session on Wednesday for Liezietsu to prove his majority.
The Governor also asked Aier that “the report of the proceedings/resolutions of the House may be communicated to me forthwith and the House shall be adjourned sine dine after conclusion of the business (trust vote)”.
The Speaker was also asked to issue necessary notice to the Chief Minister and other members by email and other means as well as over telephone.
The NPF emergency meeting, which was also attended by party supremo Lieziestsu, questioned the neutrality of the Governor, who “misused, abused and tarnished Raj Bhawan” to favour rebellion within the NPF to enhance the BJP’s political fortunes in the state.
The NPF also resolved to appeal to Aier to act with propriety and impartiality.Government spokesperson Yitachu also told IANS that they would appeal in the Supreme Court, as it is “an internal matter within the NPF party and the matter should be resolved outside the floor of the House”.
Asked if the Chief Minister would step down to pave way for his predecessor T. R. Zeliang to return to power, he ruled it out, asserting: “We will not allow these unconstitutional activities to take place in Nagaland.”
Meanwhile, Zeliang called for Liezietsu’s “minority government” to step down honourably.
“I am prepared to get to the government through the democratic means of a floor test, so that the unity within the rank and file of the party is firmly secured,” he said.
The 60-member assembly also has four Bharatiya Janata Party members and eight Independents, while one seat is vacant.
The rebellion Liezietsu erupted as some leaders accused him of “nepotism” by appointing his son as his advisor with cabinet status and pay.
Liezietsu was sworn in as Chief Minister on February 22 after Zeliang resigned following violent protests by tribal groups, opposing his move to hold civic polls with 33 per cent reservation for women.