GUWAHATI: Thirty-six dissident MLAs of Nagaland’s ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) were on Friday evacuated from a flooded Kaziranga resort in Assam where they had been camping since July 8 in the wake of a power struggle between chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu and his predecessor TR Zeliang.
Following their evacuation, the legislators left for Nagaland in a fleet of vehicles, which were parked at a distance from the resort as the area was flooded.
The resort's management said, a boat was arranged by the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), which was used to evacuate the MLAs, including the former chief minister TR Zeliang who had staked a claim to form a government after receiving the support of 43 of 59 MLAs in Nagaland Assembly.
“There were some 130 people, including police personnel and NPF party workers, and they were evacuated in batches from 7 am (of Friday). The SDRF boat ferried legislators while country boats and buses were arranged to take the NPF workers and cops out of the flooded resort. It took us around four hours to evacuate all of them,” a resort staff told the New Indian Express.
The MLAs had booked all the rooms in the resort. The Kaziranga National Park normally remains closed for visitors from May to October.
Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya had Tuesday asked Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before July 15. But as the Liezietsu Cabinet challenged the governor with a terse legal argument, the governor on Thursday said he would go by the Constitution if the chief minister refused to take the floor test.
Zeliang claimed that he has the support of 43 MLAs - 36 of them from NPF and seven Independents. He also claimed that he could get the support of all four BJP MLAs in the 60-member House, which now has an effective strength of 59, following the resignation of the chief minister’s son Khriehu Liezietsu.