NPF to contest for Speaker of NLA post
To organise ‘dharna’ against CAA during forthcoming Assembly session
Kohima, Feb. 3 (EMN): The opposition party, Naga People’s Front (NPF), has announced that it would field a candidate for the post of the Speaker of Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA).
This was announced by the recently elected general of the NPF party, Achumbemo Kikon during an interaction with journalists at the party’s office in Kohima on Monday.
Governor Ravi had earlier set February 7 to elect a new NLA Speaker.
According to Kikon, the decision was taken when the party had a consultative meeting on February 1 at the residential office of NPF president Shurhozelie Lezietsu, with the party office bearers and its legislature wing.
However, the name of the candidate was not revealed; stating that the decision was left to the prerogative of the legislature wing. Kikon said: “There is a parameter of respect between the legislature wing and the party.”
He expressed confidence that all NPF MLAs, including those seven legislators under suspension, would ‘abide by the decision of the party whip in the floor of the House and the rule of law’. “Hopefully everyone will abide by the whip which has been issued,” he said.
Reliable sources informed that only the current Deputy Speaker Sharingain Longkumer has filed nominations till date. The period for filing of nominations ends at 12 noon on February 3. It was also informed that the BJP, honouring the PDA partnership, will not field a candidate.
Fate of rebel MLAs
The NPF secretary-general also added that the fate of the seven legislators was still pending at the office of the Speaker. Kikon referred to the case of a minister under Biren Singh’s government in Manipur, in which the Supreme Court had directed the office of the Speaker to take action within four weeks.
Kikon added that ‘the disqualification case was the same with Nagaland where the seven MLAs had defied the party’s collective decision in the last Lok Sabha election’. Yet, he added, the case was still pending at the NLA Speaker’s office.
Kikon, however, maintained that the NPF had refrained from approaching either the High Court or the Supreme Court, seeking its interference in the case as the party has also decided to contest for the Speaker’s post. Until then, he said, the NPF will wait.
Kikon maintained that the NPF legislators would be “fiercely arguing against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019” inside the NLA. He claimed that the party will move a resolution for the rolling back of the CAA in the Assembly.
Also, he informed that the NPF party would be staging a ‘dharna’ against the CAA during the Assembly session to register its protest and resentment.
The secretary-general maintained that the party was clear on its stand, and added that the Act was ‘purely on religious-political line’.
“We will not accept this type of politics and philosophy,” said Kikon.
Controversy of Patton’s speech
On the reported speech delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton during an event in Wokha district recently, Kikon said: “It was so unfortunate for a person of his stature to land up in this kind of controversy; not only this time, I think. He must remember that he is holding a post, which is a very responsible post.”
He went on to assert that, “since we have heard from the horse’s mouth, he himself straight away clarified (his intention) instead of entrusting it to the second or the third person. I think that is something which needs to be pondered, examined and considered.”
Kikon further added, “A person of his stature in the capacity of deputy chief minister clarifying, I hope that is the truth—his clarification,—and he should be careful of his utterances”.
The secretary-general also reiterated the party’s stand that was clarified to Eastern Mirror in an interview on January 9.
Kikon justified the different sets of disciplinary action taken on two of its MPs as “fair and just”, although they both had voted in favour of the CAB/CAA. According to him, the Lok Sabha MP from Outer Manipur, Dr. Lorho S Pfoze was “misled” by the Rajya Sabha MP, and the then secretary-general of NPF, KG Kenye.
Kikon also read out the statement that was submitted to the NPF party by Pfoze in response to the show-cause notice issued by the party, “I (Pfoze) was constantly in touch with KG Kenye, secretary-general of NPF and MP Rajya Sabha. Both of us were coordinating the flow during the Parliament session. I was also made to understand that KG Kenye was in touch with the president of the NPF party on the contentious Bill,” Pfoze had written.