GUWAHATI: Afraid that his father would lose his chair, Nagaland chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu’s son, Khriehu Liezietsu, has refused to take a cabinet rank post which the CM had bestowed on him.
He wrote to the CM on Monday: “I am writing this letter with reference to the government notification, dated June 27, 2017, appointing me as advisor to the chief minister. While appreciating you for appointing me as advisor, I convey my regret to you that I will not be able to accept the assignment given to me due to my other pressing public engagements”.
His refusal, which came after 13 days since the appointment, is being perceived to be a move to quell the anger of dissident Naga People’s Front (NPF) MLAs and to save his father’s chair. A large section of the NPF rebels was not happy that Khriehu was virtually made a minister.
While serving as a parliamentary secretary, Khriehu had resigned from the Assembly in May so that his father, who is the NPF chief but not an elected member of Assembly, could contest the July 29 by-elections from his (Khriehu’s) seat. Victory will ensure his continuance in the hot seat.
About a month later in June, the father returned the favours to the son by appointing him as his advisor but with pay, perks and facilities that of a cabinet minister and also with a portfolio. The decision riled a section of NPF MLAs while it drew criticism from the opposition Congress. They viewed it as an act of nepotism.
“He is the chief minister as well as party president. His son has been appointed his advisor with the status of a cabinet minister. But they are not elected members. The MLAs are not happy over such monopoly nor do they feel secure under his leadership. As such, majority of them are for the change of guard,” former CM TR Zeliang, who staked claim to form the government after being backed by 34 of the 47 NPF MLAs, had told New Indian Express on Sunday.
He said as the CM was functioning in an “undemocratic manner”, both in the government and the party, the NPF MLAs did not feel secure going to next year’s Nagaland elections under his leadership.
The Congress had also slammed the CM over Khriehu’s appointment.
“This is a shameless act. It hasn’t happened with any other political leader. It is only last month that he (Khriehu) resigned on health grounds. How does he suddenly become fit to be re-employed? This is nothing but nepotism” Nagaland Congress chief K Therie had told New Indian Express following Khriehu’s appointment.
Meanwhile, over 30 rebel NPF MLAs were still camping at a resort in Assam’s Kaziranga. Zeliang was in Delhi and scheduled to hold a meeting with governor PB Acharya there on Monday.