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NPF's Shurhozelie faction courts arrest in Nagaland

Kohima, Oct 23 (IANS) The Shurhozelie Liezietsu faction of the ruling Naga People's Front (NFP) courted arrest in front of the Civil Secretariat on Monday while staging a protest over the inaction of the Nagaland Assembly Speaker on several political issues.

Former Chief Minister Liezietsu, who is also the NPF Supremo, led the agitation from the front seeking action on disqualification petitions filed against 36 NPF legislators who are loyalists of the incumbent Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang.

He also demanded recognition of Kuzholuzo Nienu as the Leader of the NPF Legislature Party in the Assembly, and recognition of the Chief Whip of the NPF.

The party youth wing had written to the district administration seeking permission to hold a peaceful dharna but the request was denied.

This led to the Party President alongwith several party legislators and senior party functionaries daring the administration to arrest them for holding a peaceful and democratic agitation seeking early and timely resolution to what it considered as gross violations of the Constitution.

Castigating the district administration for not granting permission for the peaceful dharna, Liezietsu said that the protest will be peaceful but said "if anyone provokes, then the party will also give a befitting reply".

The NPF is facing a severe internal crisis, especially after Zeliang was sworn in as Chief Minister for a second time on July 19.

Zeliang is supported by 36 NPF legislators, four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators and seven independent members.

The Liezietsu-headed NPF has expelled 20 of its legislators and suspended 10 others, who were involved in toppling his government and for violating the party's constitution.

Zeliang was the first to be expelled from the NPF for six years after taking oath as Chief Minister.

Zeliang had filed two petitions to Speaker Imtiwapang Aier seeking the disqualification of 10 rebel NPF legislators who owe allegiance to Liezietsu.

--IANS

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