Gauhati HC to decide fate of 7 Nagaland MLAs on February 8

The NPF legislators defied party decision to back Congress candidate in 2019 Lok Sabha elections

The Kohima bench of the Gauhati High Court will on February 8 hear a plea to restrain seven MLAs of the Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Nagaland from attending the Assembly session from February 12.

The NPF had in 2019 suspended the MLAs for pledging support to the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), which heads Nagaland’s coalition government. The Opposition party had filed an interlocutory application seeking the court’s interference in restraining the seven from attending the House session.

Nagaland Speaker Sharingain Longkumer in July 2020 dismissed a disqualification petition filed against the seven by the NPF, prompting it to challenge the Speaker’s judgement in court.

The Speaker said there were no sufficient grounds to presume that the said MLAs had voluntarily given up the membership of their original party.

The NPF had filed the petition against the legislators for defying its collective decision to support the Congress candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to the State’s lone seat.

Ahead of that election, the seven MLAs had issued a written declaration that they would back the consensus candidate of ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) of which the BJP is a partner.

Contrary to the NPF’s claim, the seven MLAs said they had backed the PDA candidate as their party’s decision to support the Congress candidate was “against the principle of regionalism”. The NPF did not contest the election.

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