Congress to press Centre for dismissal of Nagaland government

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New Delhi, Dec 18 (UNI) The All India Congress Committee today accused Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for not following the constitutional norms, and asked the Centre to dismiss his government which had "clearly lost majority" on the floor of the state assembly on December 13.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet on Thursday is expected to consider the political crisis in Nagaland, where Assembly Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie had allegedly prevented three independent MLAs from participating in a voting on a motion of no-confidence, while refusing to count the votes of nine others (who shifted loyalty from the ruling coalition). The Speaker declared that the motion of no-confidence was defeated.

"We are waiting for the response of the Centre to the report of Nagaland Governor K Sankaranarayanan," AICC General Secretary Margaret Alva told mediapersons, while pointing out that all the 31 members of the Congress-led Opposition Nagaland Progressive Alliance (NPA), who arrived here last night, met President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil and demanded the dismissal of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government.

She wondered why the Centre was delaying its decision on Nagaland where the government was "voted out" a week ago.

In this context, she cited the quick action taken by the Karnataka Governor after the H D Kumaraswamy government lost its majority.

The delegation, led by Leader of Opposition I Imkong, would meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi here tomorrow.

"It is for him (Mr Rio) to gracefully bow out," Ms Alva said, while pointing out that the 31 MLAs, including 17 MLAs from the Congress Party, would not return to Nagaland without getting justice from the Centre.

Alleging that what the Speaker had done was "absolutely illegal and unconstitutional," Ms Alva said "the presiding officer could disqualify MLAs after voting if they violated whip. But in this case, he had disqualified nine MLAs and refused to count their heads even before voting.

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