Nagaland: NPF replies to MLA, points out Model Code of Conduct

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Dated July 11, 2017

The Naga People’s Front is deeply concerned with the events that have transpired in the last few days, and the harsh and unpalatable language used in press releases
Respected MLA Mr Merentoshi seems to be confused about the post and position of Chairman, DAN Coordination Committee. For his information, it may be pointed out that the Chairman DAN is head of the coalition of political parties and accordingly, the Chairman is appointed by the political parties, and not by legislators as the honourable MLA believes. Kuzholuzo Azo Nienu was unanimously selected at a combined meeting of the BJP, JD(U), NCP and NPF at State Banquet Hall yesterday, July 10, 2017.

The MLA has also noted that the name of the Governor was not invoked in the appointment letter as required. The post of Chairman, DAN Coordination Committee is a political post appointed/ selected by political parties of the DAN. And the Governor, not being a member of any political party, has nothing to do with this political post. However, the Government’s notification clearly states that “the Governor is pleased to confer upon Shri Kuzholuzo Azo Nienu, Chairman, Democratic Alliance of Nagaland, the rank and status of Cabinet Minister…” And to say that the notification is “rubbish” is highly derogatory to the highest office in the State, namely, the Raj Bhawan, and could attract penal if desired. It is unbecoming of an elected member of the Assembly to demean the office of the Governor, and the MLA’s tirade is utterly shocking and unexpected.

It is absurd to term the legally sworn in Chief Minister as a power monger and greedy for power. They would do well to keep in mind that the Chief Minister did not want to occupy the chair in the first place, but was forced by the legislators to occupy the seat when it was too hot for any of them to occupy. They all know that the Chief Minister is the sacrificial lamb. And it would be most ungracious to allege that the Chief Minister, who was called in to save the party-led Government barely five months back, is greedy for power, especially when he had invited Mr TR Zeliang to come back and take over the Government.

The honourable MLA Merentoshi, himself being a former Cabinet Minister, ought to be aware that Governments never sleep. Be it a Sunday, day or night, Governments have to take decisions. And if the Chief Minister is pleased to terminate the services of some of his Cabinet colleagues or Parliamentary Secretaries, they are no longer entitled to the perks and privileges which go along with the offices they occupied. And once they are not entitled to these privileges it would not be ethical on their part to continue availing the facilities. It would be in the fitness of things, and it would also hugely enhance their image of decency, if these “dispossessed” legislators voluntarily surrender their official vehicles along with the drivers and security guards instead of threatening the bureaucracy from carrying out official duties.
It must be kept in mind that as per collective decision of the party, Dr Shurhozelie has filed his nomination papers today for the bye elections scheduled for July 29. Model Code of Conduct is in force, and the election process and the laws governing the same envisage free and fair conduct of elections. This means that persons are barred by law from inducing electors to vote for or against a particular candidate. The Government is also bound by these laws and as such, during the pendency of the elections and until its conclusion, no action can be taken either through Government processes or through individual acts which may affect fair and independent conduct of the elections.

Individuals and legislators too, must realise that they have to refrain from making statements about the unseating of the present Chief Minister, who himself is the NPF candidate, until conclusion of the election process, since it could influence the outcome of the bye election.
Further, Party MLAs would be liable for disciplinary action to the extent of disqualification as negative campaigning by Party MLAs against the Party Candidate, who is also the sitting Chief Minister, would amount to voluntarily giving up one’s own membership of the NPF Party under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

Issued by
Media & Press Bureau,
Naga People’s Front, Central Office

This Press Release was sent by NPF Bureau, who can be contacted at [email protected]

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