Nagaland Chief Minister's office respond to Dr. SL's bureau

Kohima: 19th August, 2017

T.R. Zeliang, Chief Minister, Nagaland  at 31st Annual General Meeting of the Indian Red Cross Society, Nagaland branch, at Raj Bhavan, Kohima on 19th august, 2017
T.R. Zeliang, Chief Minister, Nagaland at 31st Annual General Meeting of the Indian Red Cross Society, Nagaland branch, at Raj Bhavan, Kohima on 19th august, 2017

Against the backdrop of baseless accusations levelled on the Chief Minister, TR Zeliang by the so called Media and Press Bureau (Dr. SL’s Group) in the name of NPF Central HQs, time and again, the Chief Minister’s office is constrained to issue this statement in order to set the record straight. The Law may be mightier than the pen, or the other way round, but that necessarily does not change the political dynamics in Nagaland.

Law is derived from human common sense and those behind this Media and Press Bureau must make use of their God given sense and understand atleast the basics on whether a three line Whip can be dictated and decided by Dr. SL alone. Dr. SL, or for that matter any individual, cannot impose on the decision of the majority elected Members to suit his own interest.

In the Lok Sabha, who decides to appoint Whip for the BJP Party? Is it Narendra Modi or Amit Shah? Who decides whether Legislators of a Political Party should vote in favour or against a Motion moved by the Leader of the House? Is it the Parliamentary Board or the President of the Party? It had been, it is and it will be decided by the Leader of the House based on the decision of the majority elected members. The underlying logic is that the Whip cannot go to the Assembly or the Parliament like Mosel dropping from the sky because any Motion moved in the House has to be discussed within the elected Members to either vote in favour or against the Motion.

Even if Dr. SL was the President of the NPF Party, whip cannot be issued by him nor can he authorize any other person or authority to issue whip as he himself does not have the power to do so under the NPF Constitution. In regard to Whip of the NPF Party, Kiyaneilie Peseyie was chosen by the Leader of the House in 2014, and then came Azo Nienu which however went backed to Kiyanilie Peseyie again in 2015 depending on the confidence and loyalty enjoyed with the Leader of the House and by no means was it based on the confidence of the NPF President.

There is no provision in the Constitution of the NPF that authorizes any particular person or authority of NPF to issue whip. In the entire Constitution of the NPF running into 12 Articles and 7 Schedules, there is no mention about the person or authority that can issue whip for the Party. The President’s Power under Article 1 is only limited to advice to the Legislature Party, which is only recommendatory in nature and not binding. The Constitution of NPF does not confer any express power on the Dr. SL to issue whip to any NPF MLA under paragraph 2 (1)(b) of the Tenth Schedule.

On 4.7.2017, T.R. Zeliang was selected as NPF Whip by majority of 34 MLAs which was further supported by 3 more NPF MLAs. The so called Media and Press Bureau may like to recollect that 37 NPF MLAS out of 47 recognized and sanctioned the appointment of TR Zeliang as NPF Whip. Such a sanction does not exist in respect of Dr. SL or Kiyanilie Peseyie and thus, neither law nor majority is in support of Dr. SL or Kiyanilie Peseyie to be the NPF Whip. On the other hand, true to democracy, massive majority is in support of TR Zeliang to be the NPF Whip.

37 MLAs are with the present Chief Minister, TR Zeliang whereas the other 10 are with the minority group led by Dr. SL and as such, 10 MLAs cannot seek to control the 37 while an inference that 37 can control 10 is completely reasonable. Kiyanilie Peseyie, considered to be whip of NPF, is not indeed the whip of NPF since no such authorization exists under the NPF Constitution. None can become whip of NPF just because one holds the Parliamentary Affairs portfolio or has the favour of the NPF President.

Such a belief abated with the advent of the anti-defection law as paragraph 2 (1)(b) does not state that Parliamentary Affairs Ministers are the authorized persons to issue whip or can become whips ex-officio. Whip is always appointed from among the elected Members, a Member who enjoys the confidence of the Leader of the House. It is never chosen or appointed by the Party President. This is the practice in any democratic set up in the Country and Nagaland is no exception.

It is for the first time in the history of Nagaland Legislative Assembly that a ruling Party had served a three line whip directing MLAs to vote against its own Leader and also, no Organisational wing of a Political Party can issue Whip against the majority decision of the same Legislature Party. Now which act is a crying shame? Whether it is the act of the Majority or the Minority, it is for all to judge.

According to Nagaland Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection, Rules 2003, Section 3 (1), only Leader of the Legislature Party can intimate the Speaker and so far, there is no instances in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly of any Political Party, be it opposition or ruling, having direct correspondence with the Speaker. As per the rules, it is only the Leader of the Legislature Party who is permitted to do so.

As per Article XVI of the NPF Constitution, Amendment of the Constitution Clause 1 states that, “any Amendment/ alteration/ repeal of the Constitution of the NPF can be done only in the Central General Convention of the Party.” Now, did the 8th Amendment of the Constitution of the NPF empower Dr. SL to change the Constitution at his own whims and fancies? Did the 8th Amendment of the Constitution of the NPF empower Dr. SL to alter Article V clause 11 to empower himself to nominate? Did the 8th Amendment of the Constitution of the NPF empower Dr. SL to alter Article XVII, Article VI clause 2; Article IV clause 5 of the NPF Constitution for his own personal advantage? Was this to “streamline and achieve an efficient working system” as portrayed by the so called Media and Press Bureau?

There is absolutely nothing wrong on the part of the Chief Minister in asking Party men and women to fall on the right tract, whereas, the so called Media and Press Bureau has started countering even such appeals which has only revealed their instability and fear of the majority. The ball is in the Court of the ECI and as for us, we will sit and wait for the outcome though Dr. SL and his Minority group is free to knock the door of every Court of Law present in the Country. And meanwhile, the people behind the so called Media and Press Bureau must atleast examine basic facts and figures before coming up with half-baked reports simply to get a little space in the Media as the law, surely, is mightier than sheer wishful thinking especially when it is based on total nonsense.

Issued by:
CMO, Nagaland
Source: Press Secretary to
Chief Minister, Nagaland

* This Press Release was sent to by CMO, Nagaland who can be contacted at presssecytocmnagaland(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on August 20 2017

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