KOHIMA, Aug 05 (IANS): Nagaland Chief Minister T. Zeliang on Saturday said he has sought the disqualification of 10 rebel Naga Peoples Front (NPF) MLAs from the state assembly who owe allegiance to party supremo and ousted Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu.
In his petition to Assembly Speaker Imtiwapang Aier on Friday, Zeliang said the 10 legislators must be declared disqualified under paragraph 2(1)(b) of the tenth schedule as they absented themselves from the July 19 emergency session of the Assembly, violating a whip of the party.
The ten NPF legislators namely Kiyanilie Peseyie, Y. Vikheho Swu, Chotisuh Sazo,. Kuzholuzo Nienu, Yitachu, C.L. John, Thonwang Konyak, P. Longon, R. Tohanba and Torechu failed to turn up in the Assembly on that day.
Noting that 10 NPF legislators were fully aware of the sitting of the House and they were to attend the House invariably on July 19 as proper communication were rendered to them, Zeliang said, “the ten NPF Legislators had acted contrary to the direction issued by him on July 18 as Whip of NPF and as well as for acting contrary to the communication issued by NPF legislator Kiyanilie Peseyie.”
Peseyie had also issued a party whip on July 18 asking the NPF legislators to be present in the House the following day, but the ten NPP legislators had violated the Whip as well as the communication. Therefore they are liable for disqualification under paragraph (2)(1)(b) of the Ten Schedule, Zeliang stated.
The NPF is facing a severe internal crisis, especially after Zeliang was sworn in as Chief Minister for the second time on July 19. Zeliang is supported by 36 NPF legislators, four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators and seven Independent members.
The Liezietsu-headed NPF has expelled 20 of its legislators and suspended 10 others who were involved in toppling his government and for violating the party’s constitution.
Zeliang was the first to be expelled from the NPF for six years after taking oath as Chief Minister.
On Tuesday, the Liezietsu faction also suspended its lone Lok Sabha member Neiphiu Rio from primary membership of the party “for being directly involved in splitting the NPF legislators for furtherance of his hidden agenda”.
The action against Rio, a former Chief Minister, came after the NPF’s legislature party led by Chief Minister Zeliang appointed him as the interim party president. This is the second time that Rio has been suspended from NPF.