GUWAHATI: Nagaland governor PB Acharya says he will go by the Constitution if chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu refuses to prove his majority on the floor of the Assembly on or before July 15.
The comment comes two days after the Shurhozelie Liezietsu Cabinet challenged PB Acharya with a terse legal argument where it pointed out that “the governor can summon, prorogue and dissolve the House, only on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers with the chief minister as the head. Not on his own”.
PB Acharya told the New Indian Express from New Delhi, of which he holds additional charge on Thursday, “I have given instructions to him (to prove his majority by July 15). When I go there, I will try to assess the situation. If it is a party affair I cannot do anything. But if it is a DAN (Democratic Alliance of Nagaland) affair, I have to get involved. I will ask him to convince himself that he has to take the vote of confidence”.
The DAN is the state’s ruling alliance where Shurhozelie Liezietsu’s Naga People’s Front (NPF) and BJP are constituents. Eight Independent MLAs are also supporting it.
PB Acharya categorically said that any chief minister must have a majority to run the government.
Asked as to what he will do if Shurhozelie Liezietsu refuses to take the floor test by July 15, the governor said “The Constitution is there. I will work it out as per the Constitution; whatever is possible. The alternatives are there”.
Meanwhile, fears of possible horse-trading in the struggle for power has forced former chief minister TR Zeliang, who has already staked claim to form the government, to camp at a resort in Assam’s Kaziranga with a group of dissident NPF MLAs he was leading.
TR Zeliang fears that if he goes to Nagaland along with them now, they could be “managed” by Shurhozelie Liezietsu’s camp. But they are likely to be in state capital Kohima on July 17 to vote in the presidential elections. For now, their eyes are on the governor and his next move.
TR Zeliang claims that he has the support of 43 MLAs – 36 of them from NPF and seven Independents – in the 60-member House that now has an effective strength of 59 following the resignation of the chief minister’s son Khriehu Liezietsu.
The resort Borgos, entirely booked by the NPF MLAs and located some 215 km from Kohima, has virtually turned into an island in the wake of the floods. The road, leading up to it from a highway two km away, has also been submerged in patches.
Security in and around it has been heightened and nobody is allowed entry without the approval of the resort management and the Naga lawmakers.