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Return to party or face disqualification: NPF to rebel MLAs

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Kohima: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) party on Wednesday asked its rebel party legislators owing allegiance to Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang to return to the party fold before August 5, or face disqualification.

The party, which is headed by former Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu, is facing a severe internal crisis, especially after Zeliang was sworn in as Chief Minister for the second time on July 19.

“We have issued last and final ‘calling notice’ asking all the dissident NPF MLAs, who have defied the party whip during the July 21 floor test, to withdraw support to Zeliang and return to the party fold within 15 days time with effect from July 22,” NPF working Presidents — Huskha Yepthomi and Apong Pongener said.

Noting that the NPF as a political party has the power to condone the action of the NPF legislators, who have defied the party whip, they said, “It is crystal clear under the Tenth Schedule of the constitution that the party has the power to condone within 15 days.”

However, the NPF leader warned that they would be compelled to file disqualification petitions against the rebel NPF legislators on the expiry of the 15 day deadline if they failed to return to the party.

The Liezietsu-headed NPF had expelled 20 NPF legislators and suspended 10 others, who were involved in toppling his government, from the primary membership of the party for violating the party’s constitution.

Zeliang was the first to be expelled from the NPF for six years while taking oath as Chief Minister after Governor P.B. Acharya dismissed Liezietsu for failing to prove majority in the assembly.

On the other hand, the Liezietsu-headed NPF has described the demand by Zeliang’s loyalist for the resignation of Liezietsu as NPF Supremo President within 15 days, and appointment of three-time Chief Minister and lone Nagaland Lok Sabha member Neiphiu Rio as the party’s interim President, as “ridiculous.”

IANS

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