GUWAHATI:Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang on Thursday won the trust vote, with 59 of the 60 Assembly members voting in his favour.
Zeliang’s fate was decided at a special session of the Assembly, which was convened by Governor P B Acharya, to end the leadership squabble in the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF). Legislators, who cast their vote in favour of Zeliang, include 37 from the NPF, eight from the Congress, four of BJP and one each from the NCP and JD(U), besides eight Independents.
Speaker Chotisuh Sazo, who is from the NPF, did not cast his vote. The NPF, BJP, NCP and the JD(U) are constituents of the ruling Democratic Alliance.
Moving the “motion of confidence”, Zeliang pointed out that it was his duty to protect the sanctity and dignity of the Chief Minister’s Office and as such, he urged the members to ensure that it was not turned into a “musical chair”.
“The crisis is over. It was triggered by some disgruntled members, but don’t hold any grudge against them now,” Zeliang told reporters later.
He urged the members to extend their full cooperation to him for a stable government. After the voting got over, the Speaker gave a chance to rebel NPF legislators to participate in a debate, but they declined.
Interestingly, all the eight Opposition Congress MLAs took part in the voting and cast their votes in favour of Zeliang, thereby giving rise to speculations that the NPF might dump the BJP to accommodate the Congress in the government.
A source close to the Chief Minister, though, rubbished the speculations. “All this is propaganda. The Congress appreciated the policies and programmes of the government and hence, participated in the voting,” he said.
“The NPF and the BJP will continue to walk hand in hand,” he added.
The state was virtually pushed into a crisis after a “majority” of the ruling Naga People’s Front legislators recently elected a suspended minister as the leader of the party.