A day after T R Zeliang resigned as Nagaland Chief Minister, Naga People’s Front (NPF) president Shurhozelie Liezietsu was Monday chosen as the “consensus” candidate of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) to replace Zeliang as CM, according to sources in the party. Sources also told news agency PTI that Liezitsu will be sworn in as Chief Minister on February 22. Liezitsu has been elected to the Nagaland assembly eight times from Northern Angami assembly constituency.
Facing a revolt from party MLAs for his handling of the protests against quota for women in urban local bodies and the violence that followed in the state, Zeliang stepped down from the post of CM on Sunday to end the stalemate prevailing in the state.
There were talks of former chief minister Neiphiu Rio to be the frontrunner in the race for the CM’s post after Zeliang’s resignation. Sources, however, said Zeliang was trying to influence a section of the legislators to support Liezietsu as NPF president Shurhozelie instead of Rio.
Governor of Nagaland P B Acharya has already accepted the resignation of Chief Minister Zeliang. A Raj Bhavan press release on Sunday had said the Governor had asked Zeliang to continue till alternative arrangements were made.
Zeliang’s decision to resign came a day after the ruling NPF MLAs, who moved to a resort in Kaziranga National Park in neighbouring Assam on Friday night, held a marathon seven-hour meeting during which they decided that Zeliang would have to make way for Rio.
Nagaland has been in turmoil since January after the NPF-led government decided to hold local body elections in the state. Three persons were killed following clashes between police and civilians.
The 60-member Nagaland Assembly has no Opposition. All are members of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland — 49 NPF, 4 BJP and 7 Independents.
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