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Game of Thrones is Live In Nagaland!

Zeliang replaced Rio. But Liezietsu replaced Zeliang. Now Zeliang is back, with the help of...Rio?

August 3, 2017
kohima-nagaland-zeliang-liezietsu

Welcome to Kohima. Prepare to lose your mind. (By Jackpluto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia) Commons

You won’t believe what is happening in Nagaland.

Once upon a time, in a beautiful land called Nagaland, there was a ruler (CM) called Neiphiu Rio. After winning the mandate of the common people 3 times in a row, he wished to make his voice heard across the country, and thus fought for (and won) the lone Lok Sabha seat from the state. Into the empty seat of the ruler, came T R Zeliang. For 2 years, he ruled. Then, one day, the people of Nagaland rose against him (actually, some people were against the municipal elections being held, because it had reservations for women, while some were allegedly instigated), and he became…not-a-ruler. For the third time in 3 years, another ruler came. This time, the ruler was Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu, who was on the verge of stepping away from politics, but was brought back. A period of peace and quiet beckoned.Alas. It was not to be.

Mr. Zeliang wished to take back his seat, and become the ruler again. Dr. Liezietsu refused. There were elements of a perfect mystery: unchecked rumor-mongering, people disappearing inside forests, and press conferences.

But no. There was even more to come.

If you have been reading, the last thing we told you was about the Governor asking Mr. Liezietsu to prove his majority on or before July 15. The Chief Minister went to the High Court (the Kohima bench of the Guwahati High Court), and got a stay order on the Governor’s order till July 17. On July 18. the Court dismissed both, the CM’s petition as well as its order, and left it to the Governor to decide. Decide he did, and fast: within hours, the Governor called an emergency special session, which was to held the next day, on July 19 at 9:30 am. Also, on the 18th:

Mr Zeliang received support from the BJP, which partners the Naga People’s Front in the government. Four BJP legislators and Nagaland BJP president Visasolie Lhoungu went with letters of support to the governor.

[NDTV]

Also, on the 18th, the NPF decided to sever ties with the BJP.

On the eve of the trust vote, Mr. Liezietsu, and his supporters did not turn up. Again, just as quickly, the Governor swore in Mr. Zeliang as the Chief Minister, at 3 pm of the same day, asking him to prove his majority by July 22.

That majority was proved on July 21; out of the 59 legislators from the strength of 60 (Dr. Liezietsu’s son had vacated his seat for his father to contest), 47 voted for Mr. Zeliang (36 from the NPF, 4 from the BJP, and 7 Independents), and 11 for Dr. Liezietsu ( 10 from the NPF and 1 Independent).

One day before this, on the 20th, in an interview:

Liezietsu said, “A whip has been issued to all NPF legislators in the Assembly to vote against the motion moved by Zeliang”

[Indian Express]

Some hours ago, two things happened: Mr. Zeliang appointed another minister to his cabinet, taking the total to 11 (9 from the NPF , and 2 from the BJP). The second thing was NPF declaring that it will go to the High Court, asking for disqualification of all the 36 rebel NPF MLAs. As of today, of these 36, the NPF has suspended 11 and expelled 20.

And, no, we have not forgotten Mr. Rio either. When Mr. Zeliang’s cabinet was ready, then:

Nagaland’s lone Lok Sabha MP Neiphiu Rio was also present at the swearing-in ceremony.

[Morung Express]

There also seems to be some confusion:

  • there is a party called the ‘NPF Legislature Party’ which supports Mr. Zeliang, but according to the Mint article we cited earlier, isn’t a registered party.
  • Then there is the question of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland; in the Mint article, the same NPF MLA who spoke about going to court against the rebel MLAs, also calls the BJP as an ‘alliance partner’. But here, the NPF had broken ties with the BJP.

So, what is happening? One school of thought links the Governor (a former BJP secretary) with helping to bring the BJP in control of the state. While another says that the BJP was a player in this, not the game-master. Mr. Liezietsu puts the blame on the Governor.

However, we do have one question now to replace the one that is no longer valid. So, our questions for Nagaland are:

  1. Why doesn’t Nagaland have its own Governor? Since January, Mr. P B Acharya has occupied the office of  the Governor, for both Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Six months later, why is it still the same?

  2. There have been no muncipal elections conducted in Nagaland since 2004. How will the cities and towns develop?

  3. If the above people are fighting so hard to stay in power, what is the reason? Is it to fight against ‘nepotism’? We all know better. So, a better question: just how much money and power is there in the CM’s chair? How much corruption?

  4. And if you haven’t noticed, women in Nagaland are not exactly on par with men. Or have not occupied even one seat in the Assembly, since its formation in 1964 till 2017. The only state in India to have that record.

We will be waiting for answers. Or Godot. Same thing now.

UPDATE:

There are apparently two factions of the NPF now: the NPF Central (under Dr. Liezietsu), and the NPF Legislature Party (under Chief Minister Zeliang).

Apparently, Mr. Neiphiu Rio was appointed ‘interim president’ of the NPF in a banquet hall.

Of course, as a result, he has gotten himself suspended by the NPF again. Almost an exact year ago, he had been suspended, with the suspension revoked on July 13 of this year. So…bye, again!


About the author: Hitesh Shetty
Dreams of writing a bestseller and changing the world. When awake, tries to figure out how to do both.

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