After Manipur, disqualification shadow on 7 Nagaland MLAs

High Court asks Assembly Speaker to conclude proceedings in 6 weeks from June 2

After their counterparts in Manipur, the disqualification shadow looms large on seven Nagaland MLAs.

The Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court has directed Nagaland Assembly Speaker Sharingain Longkumer to conclude the disqualification proceedings against seven lawmakers of the Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) and pass appropriate orders within six weeks from June 2.

Justice Nani Tagia’s order on June 2 directed the petitioners from the NPF and the respondent MLAs to appear before the Speaker in person or through their authorised representatives on June 8 to receive further instructions toward concluding the proceeding within the specified period.

On April 24, 2019, the NPF filed disqualification petitions against its seven suspended MLAs for “wilfully” defying its collective decision to support the Congress candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

On March 25, 2019, MLAs N. Thongwang Konyak, Eshak Konyak, E.E. Pangteang, B.S. Nganglang, Toyang Chang, Kejong Chang and C.L. John rebelled and issued a written declaration to support Tokheho Yepthomi, rival candidate of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), who eventually won.

The NDPP rules Nagaland in alliance with the BJP.

The seven justified their decision by pointing out that the NPF decided to support Congress candidate K.L. Chishi instead of fielding its own candidate. They also issued a written appreciation of the performance of the alliance government headed by the NDPP’s Neiphiu Rio.

“We hope the Speaker would use his good office and adjudicate the [disqualification] matter without any further delay and in all fairness,” the NPF said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

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