GUWAHATI: Former Nagaland chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu won the Northern Angami-1 byelection on Thursday by a margin of 3,468 votes but the victory hardly has any significance. In a straight contest, Liezietsu polled 8,026 votes against the 4,558 taken by his Independent rival Kekhrie Yhome, an academician.
This is Liezietsu’s ninth victory in Nagaland Assembly elections. He has tasted defeat only once, in 1989.
Liezietsu contested the byelection so he could continue as CM but the purpose was lost ahead of the fight. In July, 36 MLAs of his Naga People’s Front (NPF) rose in rebellion against him and he was dismissed by governor P B Acharya. Rebel NPF leader TR Zeliang was installed in his stead.
The byelection was necessitated after Liezietsu’s son, Khriehu, resigned in May to facilitate his father’s election to the Assembly. Liezietsu had become CM back in February after Zeliang was forced to resign in the wake of widespread protests by tribal organisations against the government’s decision to conduct civic polls with 33 per cent reservation for women.
Ripples from last month’s rebellion in the NPF continue to be felt with the rump party deciding to start disqualification proceedings against the 36 legislators who defied the party whip to vote in favour of Zeliang during a trust vote in the Assembly on July 21. “We have decided to move a disqualification petition on August 7 against them for defying the original party whip,” NPF MLA Yitachu said.