Updated: March 7, 2018 2:54:11 am
Naga People’s Front (NPF) leader T R Zeliang resigned as chief minister of Nagaland on Tuesday, paving the way for Neiphiu Rio to take over in what will be his fourth time in the post.
Rio will be sworn in on Thursday, and has to prove his majority on the floor of the House “on or before March 16”, according to a media release issued by the office of Governor P B Acharya Tuesday evening.
Stating that the Governor has appointed Rio as the next chief minister, the release read, “…In a letter addressed to Neiphiu Rio, the Governor stated that he has received letters of support in favour of Shri Rio from legislators of BJP, JDU, and an independent MLA, besides NDPP legislators. The Governor has proposed to administer the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the Council of Ministers on 8 March, 2018 at 11.30 am at Khouchezie (Local Ground) Kohima.”
Earlier, Zeliang had refused to resign, hoping to persuade the BJP leadership to back NPF instead of Rio’s Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). But with all efforts proving futile, he met the
Governor Tuesday and tendered his resignation.
In a statement, Zeliang said that NPF, which emerged as the single-largest party with its 26 MLAs in the results declared on Saturday, had met and elected him the leader of the legislature party in Assembly. Zeliang stated that he met the Governor to stake claim as leader of the single-largest party, along with letters of support from NPP and JD(U).
While the NPP has thus far stayed true to the letter of support it signed before the counting day, the JD(U) has switched sides and is set to be part of the Rio-led NDPP-BJP alliance.
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