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Zeliang holds out hope for Pangteang

Kohima, July 15: Disgruntlement continues in the Naga People’s Front (NPF) because of non-inclusion of five senior former cabinet ministers in the newly formed cabi- net by chief minister T.R. Zeliang.

The Moka unit of the NPF today said chief minister Zeliang and party president Shurhozelie Liezietsu have assured the disgruntled party workers that they would consider the demand for inclusion of former tourism minister E.E. Pangteang in the ministry.

On May 24, Zeliang left out five senior cabinet ministers — Pangteang, C.M. Chang, Imkong Imchen, Pangnyu Phom and Merentoshi R. Jamir — which lead to a crisis in the party.

In a letter to Liezietsu, party workers of Moka Assembly constituency said the July 12 meeting at Angphang village discussed the recent transition of power from Neiphiu Rio to T.R. Zeliang as head of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) and the government’s subsequent decision not to include Pangteang in Zeliang’s new cabinet.

“All area leaders and party workers expressed their dismay that Pangteang has been left out of the ministry despite winning from the seat for the third time,” the letter said. Under Pangteang’s leadership, the party achieved an all-time record poll percen-tage in favour of an NPF candidate in Moka Assembly segment during the last Lok Sabha election, party workers said.

The party had reached great heights because of Pangteang’s belief and dedication and one of his greatest achievements was enrolment to the life membership cell.

The party has asked Pangteang to withdraw his life membership.

The Moka NPF also decided to appeal to the leaders of the party to clarify why Pangteang was left out of the cabinet.

“We pray and believe that your wisdom will deliver justice in the best interest of the NPF party,” the letter stated.

All five former cabinet ministers were against Zeliang being the next chief minister when former chief minister Neiphiu Rio had vacated the seat after winning the lone Lok Sabha seat this year.

In the meantime, the NPF today held a closed-door meeting to take stock of dissidence in the party. It also discussed how to strengthen the party in the wake of the BJP gaining ground in the state after three former NCP legislators defected to the BJP, increasing the tally to four in the House of 60.


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