Principle of majority rule still stands, says former MP
Dimapur, July 16 (EMN): In a democratic set up, the principle of majority rule stands throughout the world, a veteran Naga politician has stated, offering his views on the ongoing tussle in the Nagaland government between two groups of Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF) legislators.
Former Member of Parliament, of the Lok Sabha, Chingwang Konyak issued a press release on Sunday.
“In parliamentary form of government, the well established convention is that the person who enjoys the majority support of the party legislators (MLAs) is elected as the leader of the legislature party,” Konyak stated.
“The governor would invite the leader of the single largest party to form the government. The chief minister must be the leader of the legislative assembly, if he or she is the member of the assembly. Non elected person may be chief Minister or minister, but cannot be a leader.”
Here, the veteran stated, former Chief Minister TR Zeliang had claimed that he had the support of 36 Naga Peoples’ Front MLAs and 7 Independent MLAs.
“Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu, chief minister, has lost confidence of the majority MLAs. Therefore, it is crystal clear that Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu did not enjoy the majority support of the NPF MLAs within the party nor has the majority support in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly,” the former MP stated.
It would have been “wise” on his part to gracefully step down to maintain inner party democracy, the press release stated.
“It is neither democratic principle nor inner party democracy to reject or refuse to accept the views of the majority. The majority has the constitutional right to govern. The principle of majority rule, in democracy, stands today throughout the world as representative party government.”
According to Chingwang Konya, there are many instances when incumbent chief ministers were replaced within the parties by the person who has the support of the majority MLAs.
“Even in the case of Prime Ministership (sic), after the death of Shri. Lal Bahadur Shastri on the 10th of January 1966 at Tashkent, there was a contest between Shrimati Indira Gandhi and Shri. Morarji Desai. Majority of Members of Parliament supported Shrimati Indira Gandhi and elected her,” the press release stated.
The governor is right by giving an opportunity to the chief minister, directing him to call a meeting of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly and obtain the Vote of Confidence, the statement said.
“There are instances, where Governors have used their discretion. In West Bengal in 1967, Governor Dharam Vira, being of the view that the United Front Ministry headed by Ajoy Mukherjee has lost majority in the Assembly, asked the Chief Minister to call a meeting of the Assembly at a short notice and on the latter’s refusal to do so, dismissed the chief minister with his ministry.”
Again in 1970, Konyak stated, the Governor Gopal Reddy dismissed Chief Minister Charan Singh on a similar assumption, without even waiting for the verdict of the assembly which was scheduled to meet only a few days later.
“The governor directing the chief minister to call a meeting of the assembly and prove the majority is not unconstitutional,” Konyak added.