Nagaland CM TR Zeliang steps down; MLAs meet on Monday, Neiphiu Rio likely to take over

After a long agitation from various tribal bodies and civil society groups of Nagaland, Cheif Minister TR Zeliang has finally decided to resign from his post on Sunday, IANS reported.

In a letter to MLAs of the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF), Zeliang said he has decided to resign to break the deadlock between the agitating groups and the government.

The Chief Minister has called for an emergency meeting of the NPF legislature party on Monday at the state banquet hall. This will be followed by a meeting of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) legislature party at the same venue.

TR Zeliang

TR Zeliang

In the 60-member assembly, the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland coalition government comprises 48 NPF legislators, including suspended legislator Imkong Imchen, four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and eight Independents.

On Saturday, more than 50 legislators "signed a letter of support" in favour of the state's lone Lok Sabha member, Neiphiu Rio, as the new legislature party leader, to replace Zeliang.

Zeliang had been facing tough resistance from various tribal groups across the state after his government conducted the urban local body election in early February with 33% reservation for women, something various tribal parties in the state found as an interference into the tribal way of life.

The election followed public outrage with various tribal groups and citizen bodies demanding the resignation of the chief minister.

Even though Zeliang had called the elections null and void, protesters refused to call off strikes until Zeliang stepped down.

In fact, Zeliang had even taken to the All India Radio to appeal to the various protesters' groups to call off the strike and resume normal functioning of life, but his requests went unheard.Following the impassé, earlier, on Thursday, the NPF legislators had backed party supremo Shurhozelie Liezietsu to take over as the new chief minister. Forty-two of the 49 NPF legislators had "unanimously supported" supremo Liezietsu to take over from Zeliang as the new legislature party leader.

(With agency inputs)


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Updated Date: Feb 19, 2017 19:26:30 IST

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