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Views & Reviews

Hukavi Zhimomi Lambasts Shurhozelie For Recommending Dissolution of Assembly

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By EMN Updated: Jul 09, 2017 11:03 pm
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Having lost the NPF MLAs support and reduced to a minority, the present Chief Minister Dr. Shurhozelie called a cabinet meet yesterday (8.7.2017) and recommended to the Governor to dissolve the House. It is now common knowledge that out of 47 NPF MLAs, 37 have lost confidence in Dr. Shurhozelie and have pinned their unflinching support on Shri TR Zeliang, the Leader of the NPF Legislature party & Chairman, DAN (Democratic Alliance of Nagaland). On 4th July,2017at the NPF Legislature Party’s meet, 34 NPF MLAs authorized Shri TR Zeliang to stake claim to form a new NPF led DAN Government while requesting Dr. Shurhozelie to resign and pave way for Shri TR Zeliang to become the Chief Minister. The voice of the majority of the NPF MLAs is loud and clear. Since NPF Legislature Party meeting on 4thJuly, 2017, 3 more NPF MLAs have also come forward to support Shri TR Zeliang while 7 Independent MLAs have separately expressed their support in favour of Shri TR Zeliang. The total number now for Shri TR Zeliang is 44 out of 59 in the House. While Shri TR Zeliang staked his claim to form the new NPF led DAN Government before the Governor on 8thJuly, 2017, he had mentioned all these facts before the Governor in two separate letters.

Four days later, that is on 8.7.2017, Dr. Shurhozelie, with the support of only 10 MLAs, recommended to the Governor for dissolution of the House. Question now arises as to whether a non-MLA Chief Minister, totally disrespecting and transgressing the rights of elected MLAs, that too when they are in such large number (44 MLAs) in a House of 59, can recommend the dissolution of the House?

For just gluing himself to Chair and power, Dr. Shurhozelie, who took over the reign of the Chief Minister during the inter regnum, when confronted with the situation of him having been reduced to a minority, has now sought the recourse of recommending dissolution of House, which unambiguously demonstrates his “love for power” and “not love for his people”. That a long-time regional minded person like Dr. Shurhozelie stooped to such a level of betraying the Nagas is highly degrading.

It came as no surprise when he appointed his own son as Advisor to him in sheer abuse of position and power while unilaterally deciding to contest a bye-election to perpetuate himself in power much against the wishes of the majority of NPF MLAs. The mandate given to him by the NPF Legislature Party on 20.2.2017 by recommending him to be the Chief Minister was only a stop-gap arrangement.

Despite Shri TR Zeliangtendering his resignation from the office of Advisor (Finance) on 8.7.2017 itself, the Chief Minister’s Office issued a notification terminating him from the said office on the same day, instead of accepting his resignation. Today (9.7.2017), on a Sunday, Dr. Shurhozelie chose to terminate four Ministers which is nothing but merely acts of desperation and a naked display of greed for power.

After having been reduced to a minority and realizing that he can never ever retrieve his support base amongst the NPF MLAs, he has used the position of Party President to expel 10 NPF MLAs including ex-Chief Minister, Shri TR Zeliang, out of sheer frustration and helplessness. The law regarding the effect of expulsion/suspension on MLAs had been laid down by the Supreme Court of India, long back in 1996. To quote the Supreme Court in G.Viswanathan Vs. Speaker, Tamil Nadu [1992 2 SCC 353]:

“It appears that since the explanation to para 2(1) of the Tenth Schedule provides that an elected member of a House shall be deemed to belong the political party, if any, by which he was set up as a candidate and elected as a member, such person so set up as a candidate and elected as a member, shall continue to belong to that party. Even if such a member is thrown out or expelled from that party, for the purposes of the Tenth Schedule, he will not cease to be a member of the political party that had set him up as a candidate for the election. He will continue to belong to that political party… We are of the view that labeling of a member as unattached finds no place nor has any recognition in the Tenth Schedule. It appears to us that the classification of the members in the Tenth Schedule proceeds only in the manner of their entry into the House (1) one who has been elected on being set up by a political party as a candidate for election as such member (2) one who has been elected as a member otherwise than as a candidate set up by any political party –usually referred to as an independent candidate in an election (3) one who has been nominated. It is impermissible to invent a new category or clause other than the one envisaged or provided in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.”

To a query posed to Senior Counsel, Shri PP Rao, who defended former Prime Minister Shri Narasimha Rao in the JMM bribery case, stated that expulsion/suspension will not terminate the party status and membership of an MLA. An expelled/suspended MLA can be sworn in as Chief Minister and Minister, Shri Rao had further stated. His legal opinion is attached, which may also be published.

With the announcement of bye-election to Northern Angami-I, the code of conduct had come into force from 29thJune, 2017. Dr. Shurhozelie himself is a candidate for the bye-election and he, as Party President, by expelling Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Advisors and Chairmen, is influencing his own election thereby blatantly violating the model code of Conduct. It is for the Election Commission of India to judge whether Dr. Shurhozelie has violated election rules and if so, it is again for the ECI to see whether the bye-election needs to be countermanded.

In lieu of the above crisis, I strongly appeal Dr. Shurhozelie to immediately quit the post of NPF President and vacate the State Chief Minister’s Chair in the interest of the NPF Party and the people by and large for democratic principles in Nagaland to be restored back at the earliest.

Hukavi Zhimomi, NPF MLA

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By EMN Updated: Jul 09, 2017 11:03:41 pm