Nagaland Governor PB Acharya on Tuesday asked Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu to prove his majority by July 15, reported The Times of India. This comes four days after former Chief Minister TR Zeliang staked claim to form government, claiming he had the support of 44 of the 59 MLAs in the Assembly.
Earlier in the day, Zeliang had claimed that the governor had asked Liezietsu to resign by July 13, according to the Hindustan Times. “The governor has given Liezietsu time till July 13 to resign. If he doesn’t, we are going for a floor test,” Zeliang had said from a resort in Kaziranga.
However, the Chief Minister’s Office in Kohima had denied receiving any such instructions from the governor.
Zeliang claimed that his camp has the support of 44 MLAs – 37 from the ruling Naga People’s Front and seven Independents – and the backing of four Bharatiya Janata Party legislators. He said 43 MLAs, including him, were at the the Kaziranga resort, while one was undergoing treatment in Kohima.
“The chief minister is asking our MLAs to go back to Kohima from Kaziranga,” Zeliang claimed. “He is threatening them with disqualification out of sheer desperation. How can one run a government if 44 MLAs in a 60-member Assembly with an effective strength of 59 are disqualified?”
The former chief minister had further claimed that Liezietsu had asked him to take over the post with the condition that current Lok Sabha member Neiphiu Rio, who was also the Naga chief minister, not be given any role in the state government. Zeliang said after he turned down Liezietsu’s request, Liezietsu had approached Rio, who he claimed also rejected the offer.
The crisis in the state
On Saturday, Zeliang had staked claim to form an NPF-led government, a day after more than 40 party MLAs checked into a resort in a show of rebellion against Liezietsu. This was after Liezietsu sacked ten rebel MLAs from their posts as his advisors.
Zeliang criticised the chief minister for giving four axed ministers just a week to vacate their official quarters.
The rebellion against the current chief minister is said to have been triggered by Liezietsu nominating his son Khriehu Liezietsu as an advisor in the government after he vacated his Assembly seat for his father. The chief minister had taken over the post in February after the NPF had forced Zeliang to resign.