Views & Reviews
Nagas Need To Know Why this Government is Unconstitutional
The present political imbroglio started from the 7th of July 2017 when majority of the misguided NPF Legislators initiated their impractical motion demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu from Kaziranga through the Governor’s Office.
When it is within the ambit of a political party, no matter how big the number of legislators may be, it becomes immaterial unless the matter is brought to the notice of the party forum for deliberation and resolution. Summing up all these facts, the question of moving for NO CONFIDENCE MOTION in the Assembly becomes unconstitutional and unattainable like the 2015 crisis when Kaito Aye, who could not achieve his goal in spite of majority NPF MLAs supporting him. The Governor, in his haste to accomplish his clandestine hidden agenda, agreed upon with TR Zeliang and Rio to destabilize and dismantle the strong fabric of the NPF Party Government, has infringed upon the Constitution of India. He had the nerve to summon Assembly even on Wednesday which is a traditional holiday for Assembly or Parliament, and also when the duly constituted Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister did not recommend summoning of the Assembly.
In his hasty pursuit to install an unconstitutional Government, the Governor had on 19th July 2017 dismissed the constitutionally-elected Government headed by Dr Shurhozelie, and invited an expelled individual in the person of TR Zeliang to form the most undemocratic government as Chief Minister in the state of Nagaland. Taking everyone by surprise, TR Zeliang who was expelled from the NPF Party at the time of his Oath Taking, became the Chief Minister of Nagaland without letter of support from the party he belonged to, and also, without the letter of support from the legislature party. No meeting of the NPF Legislature party was held and such a meeting can only be called by the Leader of the Legislature Party which was no other than Dr. Shurhozelie who continued to be leader of the house in the NPF-led DAN government and had the authority to summon the Legislature Party meeting of the NPF by virtue of being the sitting Chief Minister till the 19th of July 2017.The Legislature party meeting can only be called on the approval of the leader of the house, but all these democratic practices were not adhered to.
TR Zeliang, claiming to be the leader of the Legislature party under Para 3 and 4 of the Tenth Schedule as per the Rules of the Members of Nagaland Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on ground of defection) Rules 3, which mentions about the duties of leader of Legislature party. However, he cannot take the shelter of this Rule 3 Provisions because Paragraph 3 of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India which talks about split by one third of legislators in a party has been omitted by the 91st Amendment of the Constitution of India. Para 4 of the Tenth Schedule talks about disqualification on ground of defection not to apply in case of merger. In this case also, he cannot take the shelter of Rules 3 of the Members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on ground of defection) Rules 2003 because no merger had taken place. Considering all these facts, there is no constitutional or legal provision for TR Zeliang government to continue.
The argument put up by TR Zeliang and his Council of Ministers , Advisors and Parliamentary Secretaries that though the Constitution and the law is with DR. Shurhozelie, legal battles would however drag on till they complete the remaining period of the 12th House, is a blatant mockery to the Constitution of India. Governor P B Acharya, as the Guardian of the Constitution of India, allowing the unconstitutional govt. of TR Zeliang in the state of Nagaland is shocking, to say the least. In other words, it would mean that the Constitution of India does not apply to the state of Nagaland! The Governor, by allowing an unconstitutional and undemocratic government to function, is legalizing corruption in its highest degree and the Governor has no moral right to talk about corruption or call upon the Naga insurgents to give up their political struggle to join the national mainstream of India.
Saying that they have enough numbers to run the government is quite contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of India and the Tenth Schedule. In 2007, Tokheho Yepthomi, who happened to be an NPF legislator having defected from the Congress, had the support of 36 MLAs comprising of 13 NPF, 17 Congress ,3 Independent MLAs, 2 JDU and 1 BJP. But even with these numbers, he could not become the Chief Minister of Nagaland in spite of the majority MLAs he commanded in the house of 60.The UPA government at the centre realized that this was not in tune with the constitutional provision of India and thereafter President Rule was imposed in the state of Nagaland in 2008.
When TR Zeliang and coterie were lodged in Kaziranga, even the Governor lent his voice saying that the prevailing situation is not an intra-party issue, but all of a sudden, after the setting up of an unconstitutional government being installed at the behest of the Governor, they altered their statement altogether to the extent saying now that it has become an intra-party issue.
The Speaker of Nagaland, being the brother in law of TR Zeliang has misused the highest office and had placed the family relation interest above the citizens of the state. The unconstitutional government cannot discharge the duties and responsibilities enshrined in the Constitution of India because it is an insult to the Naga intellectuals and had posed to be the most shameful treason to be committed in a country like India which is the biggest democracy in the world.
The election of Neiphiu Rio as interim President of NPF by NPF Legislature Party is another unconstitutional evidence to legitimize the unconstitutional government. Two wrongs cannot make a right and the issue is not between Dr. Shurhozelie or TR Zeliang’s government, or between Dr. Shurhozelie’s Presidentship or Neiphiu’s interim Presidentship in the Naga People’s Front. But the issue now is whether the government of the day is constitutional or unconstitutional. It is for the citizens of Nagaland to judge. For NPF, the rights of the citizens of Nagaland to be governed as per law and constitution of the country shall remain as our top priority responsibility.
Media & Press Bureau,
Naga People’s Front, Central Headquarters