GUWAHATI: Former Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang, who on Sunday had staked claim to form the government, claimed that Nagaland governor PB Acharya had asked the incumbent CM, Shurhozelie Liezietsu, to resign by July 13 (Thursday).
“The governor has given Liezietsu till July 13 to resign. If he doesn’t, we are going for a floor test,” Zeliang told The New Indian Express from Kaziranga in Assam on Tuesday.
The chief minister’s office, however, denied the CM had been asked to resign.
Zeliang claimed that he had the support of 44 MLAs – 37 of them from the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) and seven independents. He said 43 MLAs, including him, were camping at a resort “Borgos” in Kaziranga. The 44th MLA, who was sick, was in the Nagaland capital, Kohima, added Zeliang.
He also claimed that he had the backing of all four BJP MLAs in the state.
“The chief minister is asking our members (MLAs camping in Kaziranga) to come back. Out of desperation, he is threatening them disqualification in the floor test. If you disqualify 44 MLAs in a 60-member House that now has an effective strength of 59, how will you run the government with 10 MLAs?” Zeliang asked.
“He (CM) asked me to come back and take over, but without former CM and current Lok Sabha member Neiphiu Rio. I refused. Then, Liezeitsu went to Rio and asked him to take over. Rio said he had already decided to extend his support to me. The chief minister is desperate and this was evident from the offers he is making,” Zeliang said.
He criticised the CM for giving just seven days’ time to four ministers, axed on Sunday, to vacate their official quarters, and withdrawing their official vehicles and security.
“In the order, they (ministers who were sacked) were asked to vacate their official quarters in a week’s time. Normally, it is one month,” Zeliang said.
Asked how long they would be camping in Kaziranga, he said, “If the chief minister doesn’t resign and the governor calls for a floor test, we will go to Kohima”.
The governor was learnt to be in Arunachal Pradesh of which he holds the additional charge.