Nagaland: TR Zeliang wins ‘trial of strength’ with 59 MLAs including Congress support

Share this

Kohima, feb 6: In a major achievement for Chief Minister T. R. Zeliang, the entire 60-members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA), including 21 dissident NPF MLAs and eight Opposition Congress today expressed confidence upon his leadership to continue running the affairs of the State.

The ‘motion of confidence’ being applied for the first time in the NLA after the enactment of the Anti-Defection Law, Zeliang won the trial of strength with all 59 MLAs, except the Speaker, who can vote only during a tie, casting their vote in his favour.

The 59 votes cast in the House comprises of 37 NPF (excluding speaker), 8 Congress, 4 BJP, 1 each of NCP and JD(U) and 8 Independent MLAs.

The special session of the State Assembly was summoned by the Governor P B Acharya in order to settle the internal differences within the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) as 22 out of 38 of its legislators openly rebelled against Zeliang’s leadership on January 5.

Moving the ‘Motion of Confidence’ in the floor of Assembly, Zeliang said the NPF-led DAN came into existence in the year 2003. Since then, for the third consecutive term, the alliance has been running the affairs of the State.

In the past years, much has been accomplished, but much still remains to be accomplished, he said adding that the task before the present government is onerous and requires dedication and commitment from all the elected members.

Expressing concern over the move of the dissident group, the Chief Minister said “the Ninety-First Amendment of the Constitution, which came into effect from January 1, 2004, splits in political parties are no more recognized”.

Consequently, any member responsible for splits in political parties is liable for disqualification unless the splinter group has the support of at least two third of the legislative party concerned.

He however said that within the NPF party, some misguided legislators desired to form a new Council of Ministers and had made claims of having the majority support of the NPF legislators. He said that those legislators even approached the Governor for dismissal of his government.

Expressing that allegations were made against him of being inefficient and for mismanagement of finance, he stated that Central funding pattern had undergone a major change since attainment of Statehood and the BCR gap was no longer covered by Additional Central Assistance during the 13th Finance Commission.

He was hopeful that the 14th Finance Commission would be more favourable which will come into effect in the next financial year. T.R. Zeliang said that his foremost vision for the State was the settlement of the Naga Political issue and secondly, the Nagas must be economically self-reliant.

He said that the NPF Party in its wisdom has decided that the misguided Party legislators must be given the opportunity to realize the error of their ways, and return to the Party fold.

Zeliang said that as duly elected leader, and having taken oath as Chief Minister of Nagaland, “I consider it my duty to protect the dignity of the CM’s office, and to see that it is not turned into a musical chair, who occupants can be changed at the whims and fancies of some unprincipled politicians”.

“I have every hope that good sense will prevail, and all the NPF Party Legislators will stand unitedly as one, and vote in favour of the motion expressing confidence on the Government,” he said.

“Our mindsets must change, our attitude must change. We must ensure that we put the common good above all personal interest,” Zeliang said.

Participating in the discussion, dissident MLA G Kaito Aye expressed that the crisis is because of the internal difference within the NPF Party and there was no need for holding of the session for trial of strength.

The NPF has the mandate of the people and the problem should have been solved either by the NPF Party President or Leader of the NPF Legislature Party outside the House, but it did not happen.

“We have nothing to go against our own government, and we do support the motion of confidence,” he said.

Subsequently, the Speaker Chotisuh Sazo put the motion to voice vote, but the Leader of the House, Zeliang expressed that into to maintain a proper record of the Assembly the proper vote count should be conducted.

Therefore, advising the Governor to summon the house at this juncture especially when the State government was facing financial crisis seemed unnecessary, he added.

Meanwhile, interacting with this correspondent while coming out of the special session, Congress party chief whip, C. Apok Jamir said “we have voted in favour of the government to have stability and good governance.

Copyright © Bharati Web Pvt.Ltd. All Rights Reserved