Dimapur, August 21 (EMN): The ongoing tussle between the two factions of the NPF party is set to witness more eventful exercises from both the groups as a run up to the final battle in the Election Commission of India.
The group led by former chief minister and the sitting MP Neiphiu Rio as the party president and the chief minister TR Zeliang has called for the crucial meeting of the Central Executive Council on August 22 in Kohima.
This is seen as the first move, after already getting the majority support of the legislature wing and strongly secured by more than two thirds of the members.
The outcome of the CEC meeting on Tuesday will be closely observed by all as it will decide where the scale will tilt in the organisational wing of the party. In spite of their rival group terming the Central Office Bearers as the ‘highest decision making body’ of the party, a party insider told Eastern Mirror that it is the CEC that is the most powerful body in the NPF party.
Asked about the number of CEC members supporting the group led by Neiphiu Rio, he replied that it is still too soon to discuss numbers but it will only be clear after Tuesday’s meeting. The group is banking on the presumed yardstick that the ECI will use; the latest list of CEC members that existed with the ECI before the crisis started.
The current tenure of the NPF party that came to power with a landslide majority of 38 MLAs in the 60 member assembly, in 2013 is facing the second major crisis within the party on who has the ownership-name and symbol.
During the previous crisis both the contending groups tried to make changes to the list of the CEC members with different submissions after expulsions and suspensions were affected only after the crisis started.
However the previous crisis ended with one group agreeing to the ECI prescribed formula, for reconciliation. Although it now seems real reconciliation did not occur leading to the present crisis, after the official process of reconciliation as advised by the ECI another list of CEC members were submitted to the ECI that has about 173 members in total. If the ECI takes up the current tussle as a valid case of a split in the party then with the majority of legislators already supporting the group led by Neiphui Rio it will look in to the CEC to check which group gets the support of the organisational wing.
The CEC of the NPF is comprised of all the COB; the Working Committee; one-third of the Legislature wing; all MLAs from the other states; MPs; presidents and working presidents of state units; all presidents of the divisions; presidents of the various wings in the central office; one member from all the 60 assembly constituencies; and 12 members nominated by the president.
The central office bearers of the party and one member each from the 60 assembly constituencies will form the biggest bulk of the CEC members.
Meanwhile, the other group led by former chief minister and party president Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu has stated that the CEC meeting of the August 22 is “illegal”.
“Take notice that this meeting is illegal, unauthorised by me or the CEC and is thus unconstitutional. Those who attend this illegal meeting will be doing so at his/ her risk of being automatically disqualified/ debarred/ suspended from the Naga People’s Front ‘s primary and active membership,” stated Liezietsu in a notification on Monday.
NPF tussle: All eyes on CEC meeting