Zeliang relinquishes CM office; Says will play role of constructive opposition

Zeliang relinquishes CM office; Says will play role of constructive opposition
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Kohima, MarCH 6: Faced with post election rejection from alliance partners, including the BJP, incumbent Chief Minister T R Zeliang today resigned from the chair while affirming to play a “constructive role as a strong opposition in the Assembly”.
“I along with my council of ministers today sent our resignations to the Governor following a cabinet meeting held at CMO,” Zeliang said while addressing a press conference here today.
On the delay in relinquishing the office, Zeliang said after declaration of the result, people were aggressive and started asking my resignation while alleging that I refused to resign.
He, however, clarified that nobody demanded his resignation till today, because the tenure of 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly expires only on March 14.
He went on to state that dissolution of the government has to come from the Election Commission and after that it is for the Chief Minister to recommend dissolution of the House and only after that the formation of new government takes place.
He said that the newly elected 27 NPF members had a meeting on March 4 and had unanimously chosen him to be the legislature party leader in the newly elected Assembly. After the meeting, Zeliang said he called on the Governor with the resolution of the members and staked claim to form the government as NPF was the single largest party. He also said that NPF’s pre-poll alliance partners NPP and JD(U) had also submitted their letter of support to the Governor in favour of NPF.
He also said that he had written separately to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to know the stand of BJP pertaining to the formation of coalition government as had happened in the past 15-years.
“We never had any pre-poll alliance with BJP but only after the election during the formation of the government we used to invite them and declare coalition government as DAN since 2003,” he said.
However, Zeliang said that after coming to know the decision of BJP to sever ties with NPF on Monday and also the u-turn taken by alliance partners NPP and JD(U), he submitted the resignation of his Council of Ministers headed by him today.
On the confusion over the winning of 6-Tening Assembly Constituency seat, Zeliang said “on the day of the counting of votes on March, the result was declared as 27 in favour of NPF, including NR Zeliang while also handing over the winning certificate while also uploading the same in the Election website”.
“The Returning Officer should not have entertained any complaint after giving away the certificate, but I don’t know on what ground they have recount the votes and found some anomalies,” he said.
This is totally wrong according to the Representation of the People Act, 1951 because once the certificate is issue, any complaint should go to the court in form of election petition, he said.
The aggrieved person should go to the court to redress their grievances but RO reopening and recounting the votes is not acceptable, he said, while also disclosing that the NPF has therefore decided to go to the court against the RO.
He also cited that in the case of Alongtaki A/C where the vote count was more than the votes polled, NPF candidate Dr Benjongliba had lodged complaint even before the issuance of certificate to the winner but the RO and CEO Nagaland did not accept any complaint.
Further, terming the results as ‘massive mandate’ of the people of Nagaland, the outgoing CM thanked the Naga electorate for the huge mandate given to us. Zeliang also conveyed deep sense of gratitude to his cabinet colleagues for their unflinching support and cooperation in both good and difficult times as well as in governance for the past 4 years.
Expressing that all these years his effort and top priority was solution to Naga political problem, Zeliang said “we thought solution will come about before elections and that was the expectation from the people”.
As the Chief Minister, “I did my best to bring about solution before election but even though we could not achieve, we have done our best”, he said, while extending gratitude to all the organizations including church and tribal bodies for extending full cooperation to bring settlement of Naga political problem, which can only bring permanent peace in our state.
“The history, evolution and service of the NPF to the Naga masses need not be scripted here. For nearly one and a half decades, NPF had been in the service of the people of Nagaland since the year 2003.
Zeliang also assured the Naga people that “we (NPF) will extend full support to the new government wherever the action of the government is in the larger interest of the Naga people apart from playing a constructive role of opposition in furthering the overall cause of the Nagas”.
On a query whether the new government in the State would be stable one, Zeliang said “to provide a stable government is upto the new government how they handle because they have new members and with the strength of 31-32 if they think they can provide stable government let them do the best and we will act as constructive opposition in the House”.
Meanwhile, on the claims of Assam Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma that NPF in Manipur is a separately registered political party, Zeliang said “BJP also has unit in Nagaland and so NPF also has its unit in Manipur and Arunachal, while the Central office functions from Kohima”.
(Page News Service)