Nagaland Governor sacks government, Zeliang to be sworn in

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Kohima, July 19 (IANS) Nagaland Governor P.B. Acharya on Wednesday dismissed the five-month-old government of Shürhozelie Liezietsu after he failed to prove his majority in the Assembly, a Raj Bhavan official said.

The official told IANS that the Governor has invited veteran Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislator T.R. Zeliang to form a new government.

Zeliang, who will take oath as Chief Minister at Raj Bhavan, has been told to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before July 22.

This is the second time the 65-year-old Zeliang will be the Chief Minister after he resigned following violent protest by tribal groups opposed to his move to hold civic polls with 33 per cent seats reserved for women.

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 on the floor of the Assembly.

“According to a report from the Speaker, Liezietsu did not attend the Assembly session convened today at 9.30 a.m. for the purpose of testing majority of the cabinet led by (him),” Acharya said in his order dismissing the Liezietsu government.

“Forty-eight legislators (including 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 July 11 and 13 issued directives to Liezietsu to seek a vote of confidence on or before July 15.

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

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

Speaker Aier, who adjourned the House sine die, said the motion to prove the majority of the Chief Minister could not be taken up as he was not present.

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.

The rebellion within 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.

–IANS

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