TR Zeliang proves majority in Nagaland: Shurhozelie Liezietsu-led NPF organises 'beef festival' in protest

A faction of Naga People's Front MLAs led by ousted chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu organised a ‘beef feast’ in the party's head office in Kohima on Friday to protest TR Zeliang's elevation as the new chief minister of Nagaland

Kangkan Acharyya July 21, 2017 22:27:10 IST
TR Zeliang proves majority in Nagaland: Shurhozelie Liezietsu-led NPF organises 'beef festival' in protest

A faction of Naga People's Front MLAs led by ousted chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu organised a ‘beef feast’ in the party's head office in Kohima on Friday to protest TR Zeliang's elevation as the new chief minister of Nagaland.

The ‘beef feast’ is said to have been organised by the youth wing of the NPF also 'to mark severance of ties' with BJP soon after Zeliang proved his majority in the Nagaland Assembly on Friday with support from MLAs from the Bharatiya Janata Party. The youth wing of NPF also issued a press release in the form of a letter inviting the governor of Nagaland to the event.

TR Zeliang proves majority in Nagaland Shurhozelie Liezietsuled NPF organises beef festival in protest

Shurhozelie Liezietsu and TR Zeliang. Firstpost

The press release reiterated allegations of the Liezietsu-led faction of the party that the governor played a biased role in the recent political crisis in Nagaland by favouring the dissident Zeliang faction of the party. "Your Excellency has turned a blind eye to a monumental travesty of democracy where a member of the Assembly who is expelled from the NPF for a period of six years has been accepted as the chief whip of the same party from which he has been expelled," the press release said.

It is to be mentioned here that Zeliang was expelled from the NPF on Wednesday, the very day he took oath as the chief minister of Nagaland. Interestingly, Zeliang was appointed as the chief minister after Liezietsu failed to turn up at the Assembly to face a no-confidence vote. A floor test was held on Friday which Zeliang won comfortably, thus emerging as the chief whip of the party.

The release added, "Your Excellency has been a member of the cabal of legislators who created a parliamentary history when they elected a chief whip themselves without the consent and knowledge of the political party that they claim to belong to."

It also said, "And so, to celebrate your latest political coup, and to mark the severance of ties with your political party, the BJP, we are organising a beef feast (your excellency knows Nagas are voracious meat eaters) this evening and would like to take this opportunity to invite you to cancel some of your not-so-official engagements in political scheming and to come and join us for dinner at the NPF Central Office in Kohima."

Though the 'beef feast’ was organised to mark the severance of party's ties with the BJP, which the Liezietsu led faction of the NPF has been harping about, it also brought to fore the divide in opinion within the NPF.

The chief executive council of the Liezietsu-led faction of NPF decided to severe ties with the BJP in a meeting held on 18 July. Yitachu, a leader of the Liezietsu faction of NPF told Firstpost said, "BJP is not truthful to its alliance partners. It has always inflicted crisis in NPF. This time too they supported a dissident group of MLAs to form government. It did this to convert the NPF-led government into a BJP government. This is not the correct way to maintain an alliance."

But significantly, the Zeliang faction of NPF and the BJP have a different story to tell.

Imkong L Imchen, an MLA who supported Zeliang's candidature as the chief minister of Nagaland denied the allegations raised by the Liezietsu faction of NPF. "The BJP would continue to remain an alliance partner of our government," he said, adding that the Liezietsu-led faction "does not represent the best interests of the NPF".

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