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The deadlock between the TR Zeliang led government and the JCC & NTAC continue to simmer with no middle ground in sight, even as the statewide indefinite bandh called by the Naga tribal bodies will enter day-four on Thursday.
While the JCC and the NTAC has been demanding the resignation of the Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang on "moral grounds," the Chief Minister refused to do so citing constitutional justification that he enjoys majority support in the assembly.
A resolute JCC and the NTAC, refusing to budge from their demands even rebuffed an offer for a dialogue from the government.
On Tuesday, the Committees had issued a caveat to persuade Zeliang to step down in the form of a deadline to all the elected legislators to withdraw their support to the Chief Minister on or February 17.
There are varying opinions on the question of whether the Chief Minister should resign on moral grounds or continue to hold office as per the mandate of the constitution.
Call for statesmanship
For peace activist Niketu Iralu, at such a time as this, the leader (s) of the state should show greatness and statesman-ship and act on the dictate of conscience. "They are in a position to do something great instead of trying to be politically clever," Iralu said. He added they should open a new door to the present crisis, bring in something of a moral dimension."
The peace activist felt that the Naga civil society is in a very agitated state, because they have been made to respond to a situation where honor and dignity and to protect a fragile society is put at stake.
Neichute Doulo, CEO of Entrepreneurs Associates said it will take a lot of courage and challenge for people in the government to find out what is best for the people and not what is best for themselves and the political parties.
"The need of the hour for the government is to do what is best for the people and not be guided by political mileage and advantages," Doulo said.
The entrepreneur cautioned that if the people in the government try to justify their position from the constitutional perspective, situation might flare up. He also said this was a great opportunity for the politicians to show statesman-ship and not political calculations.
Discontentment and a govt out of touch
"There is so much pent up anger, frustration and discontent over numerous issues among the people, especially the youth, and I believe the violent eruption over the final action of the government perceived as a betrayal was a manifestation of the undercurrents brewing in our society at this juncture," Deithono Nakhro said.
Nakhro a former Editor and member, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, feels the entire situation has exposed a government dangerously out of touch with the people.
The situation having reached this point involving the unnecessary tragic deaths, I do not see any resolution except for the government to exercise all the wisdom it can muster and make the right move, whatever it may be, so that normalcy can return and healing can begin, she added.
Due process of the rule of law
Speaking from a legal perspective, Leonard Aier opined that whether the people like it or not, the Chief Minister cannot step down from his chair when he has a majority. Nor can President's Rule be imposed in such scenario.
Citing a ruling of the Supreme Court, Aier said a nine-member apex court bench in 1994 ruled that, "a situation of maladministration in a state where a duly constituted ministry enjoying majority support in the assembly is in office would not amount to failure of constitutional machinery."
"Imposition of President's rule in such a situation will be extraneous to the purpose for which the power under Article 356 has been conferred. It was made indubitably clear by the constitution framers this power is not meant to be exercised for the purpose of securing good government," the SC had said.
Senior Advocate Akito Zhimomi felt that the entire protest of the JCC and NTAC had started on the wrong premises. According to Zhimomi, the movement started with women reservation, and then it shifted focus to resignation of the whole cabinet, the NPF president and Chief Minister and then to the resignation of the CM.
Comparing it to the shifting of the narrative of the demonetization action, Zhimomi said the JCC and NTAC leaders were shifting their agenda like the "shifting of goal post."
The advocate also questioned why the JCC had rejected the inquiry commission to probe on the circumstance of two youth killed allegedly during police firing if they blamed the CM for their deaths. "No one should be condemned without due process of law. Apparently the JCC does not want this due process," Zhimomi said.
Terming the demands of the JCC for the CM to step down as unreasonable, Zhimomi said be it the JCC or the State Government, in a democracy, there should be a due process of the rule of law.
Source: Morung Express
Image Courtesy: Morung Express/ Internet sources