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Zeliang Govt�s fate to be decided today

By Correspondent
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DIMAPUR, Feb 4 � The fate of 10-month-old TR Zeliang Government in Nagaland will be decided tomorrow. Governor PB Acharya has summoned a special session of the Nagaland Assembly on February 5 for a floor test to end the month-long political logjam in the State.

The session assumes significance as this would address the internal difference of the ruling NPF which has paralysed the functioning of the government for the past one month following open rebellion by 22 NPF legislators withdrawing support to Chief Minister TR Zeliang-led government on January 5.

The dissident legislators under the leadership of G Kaito Aye approached the Governor staking claim to form the government under his leadership on January 5, claiming that TR Zeliang-led government has been reduced to minority. However, on January 9, while stating that his government is stable and there is no threat to it, Zeliang urged the Governor to summon a special session of the Assembly for a trial of strength. The State Cabinet approved it on January 15 and recommended for holding of the special session.

Governor Acharya, who returned to Kohima from Delhi on Sunday, had finally made up his mind for convening a special session of the Nagaland Assembly to hold a floor test, as directed by the Union Home Ministry.

In the House of 60, TR Zeliang government has the support of 16 NPF (excluding the Speaker, who may cast his vote in case of a tie), one each from NCP and JD-U and seven Independent legislators. The NPF led by G Kaito Aye has 21 NPF MLAs and one Independent. BJP has four MLAs.

The opposition Congress has eight legislators and their vote could prove crucial in the floor test in case of any eventuality.

Meanwhile, CM Zeliang has made a final appeal to the legislators to exercise their vote according to their free will and clear conscience and also cautioned that those who defy the party whip would face disqualification.

Addressing media persons at his residence in Kohima on Tuesday evening, the Chief Minister said the floor test would clear the air of confusion of who has majority as his government enjoyed the support of 52 MLAs in a House of 60 because no group has officially withdrawn support till date.

He said the Speaker will follow the procedure according to the rules and decide on whether the voting process will be through secret ballot or head count or voice vote.

The Chief Minister asserted that once a government was installed with majority support, it should be allowed to govern and members expected to deliver the goods to the people instead of continually fighting for Ministerial berths or portfolios. He said the reason behind the current dissidence was for Cabinet berths and portfolios.

Asked if the Congress would vote for the government, Zeliang said it was up to them.

Meanwhile, BJP high command has directed BJP legislators in Nagaland to remain neutral in the February 5 floor test by abstaining from voting.

The decision of the BJP also came with a warning that those found violating the directive would be sternly dealt with. The directive has been issued on Tuesday.

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Zeliang Govt�s fate to be decided today

DIMAPUR, Feb 4 � The fate of 10-month-old TR Zeliang Government in Nagaland will be decided tomorrow. Governor PB Acharya has summoned a special session of the Nagaland Assembly on February 5 for a floor test to end the month-long political logjam in the State.

The session assumes significance as this would address the internal difference of the ruling NPF which has paralysed the functioning of the government for the past one month following open rebellion by 22 NPF legislators withdrawing support to Chief Minister TR Zeliang-led government on January 5.

The dissident legislators under the leadership of G Kaito Aye approached the Governor staking claim to form the government under his leadership on January 5, claiming that TR Zeliang-led government has been reduced to minority. However, on January 9, while stating that his government is stable and there is no threat to it, Zeliang urged the Governor to summon a special session of the Assembly for a trial of strength. The State Cabinet approved it on January 15 and recommended for holding of the special session.

Governor Acharya, who returned to Kohima from Delhi on Sunday, had finally made up his mind for convening a special session of the Nagaland Assembly to hold a floor test, as directed by the Union Home Ministry.

In the House of 60, TR Zeliang government has the support of 16 NPF (excluding the Speaker, who may cast his vote in case of a tie), one each from NCP and JD-U and seven Independent legislators. The NPF led by G Kaito Aye has 21 NPF MLAs and one Independent. BJP has four MLAs.

The opposition Congress has eight legislators and their vote could prove crucial in the floor test in case of any eventuality.

Meanwhile, CM Zeliang has made a final appeal to the legislators to exercise their vote according to their free will and clear conscience and also cautioned that those who defy the party whip would face disqualification.

Addressing media persons at his residence in Kohima on Tuesday evening, the Chief Minister said the floor test would clear the air of confusion of who has majority as his government enjoyed the support of 52 MLAs in a House of 60 because no group has officially withdrawn support till date.

He said the Speaker will follow the procedure according to the rules and decide on whether the voting process will be through secret ballot or head count or voice vote.

The Chief Minister asserted that once a government was installed with majority support, it should be allowed to govern and members expected to deliver the goods to the people instead of continually fighting for Ministerial berths or portfolios. He said the reason behind the current dissidence was for Cabinet berths and portfolios.

Asked if the Congress would vote for the government, Zeliang said it was up to them.

Meanwhile, BJP high command has directed BJP legislators in Nagaland to remain neutral in the February 5 floor test by abstaining from voting.

The decision of the BJP also came with a warning that those found violating the directive would be sternly dealt with. The directive has been issued on Tuesday.