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Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang Resigns, NPF Supremo Shurhozelie Liezietsu elected as next CM

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Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang stepped down from the post on February 19, 2017 facing revolt from his party MLAs against the decision to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in urban local bodies.

  • Accompanied by several of his senior Cabinet colleagues, Zeliang submitted his resignation to the Governor of Nagaland P.B. Acharya who accepted the resignation and asked Zeliang to continue in office till alternative arrangements are made.
  • Subsequently, the Nagaland People’s Front leader Zeliang, called for an emergency meeting of the NPF (Naga People’s Front) Legislature Party on February 20, 2017 at the State Banquet Hall in Kohima to select a new consensus leader to succeed him.
  • The NPF Legislature Party meeting was followed by a meeting of ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland Legislature Party at the same venue.
  • Former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is also the only Lok Sabha member from Nagaland and Naga People’s Front supremo Shurhozelie Liezietsu were in the race for the top seat.
  • Finally after meeting, Shurhozelie Liezietsu was unanimously elected as the legislature party leader of the ruling Democratic Alliance to be the new Nagaland Chief Minister.
  • Rio even hosted over 40 MLAs in a resort in Kaziranga who had allegedly pledged their support to him. But the fact that Rio had been suspended from the ruling Naga People’s Front took the chair away from him.
  • Liezitsu will be sworn in as the Chief Minister on February, 22, 2017.

Resignation of T R Zeliang

Tensions were raised in Nagaland after the state government announced that in the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) election, 33 percent of the seats would be reserved for women.

  • The Tribal bodies opposed the decision saying that it violated special rights guaranteed by Article 371(A) of the Constitution.
  • Therefore, Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC), an umbrella body of Nagaland’s 16 major tribes, demanded resignation of Zeliang and set an ultimatum of February 17, 2017 for it.
  • Different organizations in the state demanded that the state government to declare the ULB elections null and void, suspend the police and security personnel involved in January 31 firing on the protesters leading to the death of two youths in Diampur and that Zeliang step down from the post of the Chief Minister.
  • The Nagaland government had fulfilled the demand of Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) Kohima and Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), declaring the entire process of Urban Local Bodies election with 33 per cent reservation for women as null and void.
  • However, its demand of suspending the personnel involved in January 31 police firing on the protesters leading to the killing of two youths in Dimapur has been partially fulfilled as they have been transferred.

Appointment of Shurhozelie Liezietsu as CM

The meeting of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) held in Kohima on February 20, 2017 chose  Naga People’s Front (NPF) Shurhozelie Liezietsu as the next chief minister of Nagaland. 58 MLAs signed in favour of Liezietsu.

  • The NPF is the major constituent of DAN with 48 legislators in the 60-member Nagaland assembly that has no opposition. All are members of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN), 48 NPF, 4 BJP and 8 Independents.
  • Shurhozelie, who is not an MLA and belongs to Angami tribe, will now have to seek an election within six months of taking charge as Nagaland’s 11th chief minister.

About Shurhozelie Liezietsu

Liezietsu was first elected to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly in 2003. He was eventually made the Minister of Urban Development.

  • After winning 2008 election, he retained the Ministry of Urban Development with additional charges of Higher and Technical Education.
  • Shurhozelie has been elected to the Nagaland assembly eight times from Northern Angami assembly constituency. But he did not contest the 2013 election.
  • After retaining his Northern Angami-I assembly seat in 2008, Liezietsu decided not to contest the 2013 polls and let his son Khriehu contest instead.NPF Supremo Shurhozelie Liezietsu elected as next CM
  • Khriehu was later made the parliamentary secretary of youth resources and sports, Music Task Force and state lottery.
  • Shurhozelie is most likely to contest from his old constituency (10 Northern Angami-I A/C) which is currently being held by his son, Khriehu Liezietsu.

About T R Zeliang

A leader of the Nagaland People’s Front, T R Zeliang contested the Nagaland Assembly elections of 1982 and 1987 unsuccessfully from Tening constituency.

  • He then won from Tening four times with the elections of 1989 as a candidate of the Naga People’s Council and subsequently in 1993, 1998 and 2003 as a candidate of the Indian National Congress.
  • He served as Minister of State for Information and Tourism during 1989–90 and as Minister of State for Relief & Rehabilitation from 1994 to 1998.
  • During 1998 – 2003, he was the Minister for Environment and Forests and Geology and Mining under S C Jamir.
  • From 2004 to 2008, he was a Member of Parliament to the Rajya Sabha from Nagaland.
  • He succeeded Neiphiu Rio as Chief Minister following Rio’s election to the Lok Sabha in the Indian general elections of 2014.

About Nagaland

Nagaland became the 16th state of India on December 1, 1963. Kohima is the capital city of Nagaland.

  • Agriculture is the most important economic activity and the principal crops include rice, corn, millets, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, sugarcane, potatoes, and fibres.
  • The state is inhabited by 17 major tribes. These includes, Ao,  Angami,  Chang, Konyak,  Lotha, Sumi, Chakhesang, Khiamniungan, Dimasa Kachari,  Phom,  Rengma, Sangtam,  Yimchunger, Kuki, ZemeLiangmai (Zeliang) Pochury and Rongmei