Imphal, May 20,
The recent political drama at Karnataka state assembly regarding the governor’s invitation to BJP legislature wing leader and the Supreme Court intervention to prove its strength on the floor of the house which ultimately left BS Yeddyurappa to step down before the floor test yesterday has prompted another political controversy over the invitation of political party for formation of government by the governor in Nagaland and Manipur.
In Nagaland regarding the claim of TR Ziliang , the NPF chief over the legitimacy of his party for getting invitation for being the single largest political party, NDPP, which is heading the alliance government in Nagaland had clarified that there is nothing unconstitutional to the invitation on NDPP-BJP Alliance PDA by the governor.
Terming T.R. Zeliang ‘s claims on the issue of single largest party, the NDPP said that the NDPP-BJP Alliance was a pre-poll alliance that had a seat sharing arrangement as one single entity where the two parties did not contest against each other in any constituency. The NDPP-BJP alliance entered into a seat sharing arrangement of 40:20, which was the first of its kind in Nagaland.
A statement said that the NDPP-BJP prepoll Alliance won a combined number of 30 seats (NDPP – 18 & BJP – 12) and securing a total of 4,08,056 votes (40.51%) out of 10,07,163 – the grand total of votes polled in the State, and clearly emerged as the single largest party. On the contrary, in the 26 seats that the NPF won, it garnered a total of 3,89,687 votes, which is 38.69 % of grand total of votes polled (10,07,163). Later, after the elections, it is public knowledge that the JD(U) and the NPP which are natural allies with the BJP in the NDA Government at the Centre, along with the lone IND legislator also extended their support to the NDPP-BJP combine thereby taking the total combine of pre and post poll alliance partners to 34 in the House of 60.
Qouting the Justice Sarkaria Commission Report on Centre-State Relations with emphasis on Chapter 4 – Role of Governor, the statement said that in section 11 of Chapter 4 which deals with the Choice of the Chief Minister, it is clearly mentioned in Point No. 4 as “If there is no such party, the Governor should select a Chief Minister from among the following parties or group of parties by sounding them, in turn, in the order of preference that 1) An alliance of parties that was formed prior to the Elections; 2) The largest single party staking a claim to form the government with the support of others, including “independents.”; 3) A post-electoral coalition of parties, with all the partners in the coalition joining the Government; 4) A post-electoral alliance of parties, with some of the parties in the alliance forming a Government and the remaining parties, including “independents” supporting the Government from outside.
The Governor, while going through the process of selection described above, should select a leader who, in his (Governor’s) judgement, is most likely to command a majority in the Assembly. The Governor’s subjective judgement will play an important role.
A Chief Minister, unless he is the leader of a party which has absolute majority in the Assembly, should seek a vote of confidence in the Assembly within 30 days of taking over. This practice should be strictly adhered to with the sanctity of a rule of law.
These conventions are self-explanatory and due process has been followed in installation of the PDA Government. Therefore, it is absolutely clear that the NDPP-BJP pre-poll Alliance was the single largest entity and selected in order of preference (as per 4.11.04 sub point 1). The numbers has proved majority with victory in 34 seats and it is further proved in the vote share. Finally it was proven in the temple of democracy, on the floor of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly on March 13, 2018 where Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio proved his majority by securing 33 votes against the 26 votes of the NPF. What more is there to prove”, the NDPP statement argued.
Breaking its silence over the opposition NPF’s incessant barrage of venom, the NDPP asked the opposition NPF to play politics based on ideologies, principles and strengths; not on religious references.
On the NPF attacking the PDA partner BJP, he said that it was quite surprising as till recently, the BJP was very much a partner of the NPF-led DAN coalition since 2003. But today, just because the NPF could not form an alliance with the BJP, they are going ahead and attacking the BJP, Jamir asserted.
He recalled that the NPF president Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu had, on 28 June 2017, at a party meeting in Arunachal Pradesh, proudly spoke of the NPF and BJP association as dating back to 1977 when the latter was called Jan Sangh. However, he pointed out that when the NPF crisis occurred the following month, where legislators decided to change leadership and bring back Zeliang as chief minister, the NPF led by Liezietsu had decided to sever its ties with the BJP on July 19, 2017 and had gone to the extent of even organising a ‘beef feast’.
“Today they (NPF) are calling the BJP a Hindu party, they are calling NDPP an anti-Christian party. Now if they consider the BJP a Hindu party, then what were they doing with the BJP over the last 15 years? Or as they recall, since 1977?” the NDPP statement questioned.