Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang has put in his papers following protracted and often violent protests by Naga groups. A new chief minister is expected to be named on Monday. It now remains to be seen whether there will be any let up in the agitations by the Naga groups, who have been demanding Zeliang’s ouster for quite some time now.
Also read: Nagaland Governor declares election process to urban local bodies null and void
In one of the letters he sent to Nagaland Governor Padmanabha Acharya and MLAs from the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF), Zeliang has said: “I have decided to step down from office. The new consensus leader will be selected tomorrow [Monday, February 20] at an emergency meeting.”
Now, the emergency meet of the NPF Legislature Party will take place at 10 am on Monday, followed by the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) Legislature Party meeting at 11 am. The NPF is the biggest partner in the DAN, followed by the BJP and the JDU. The DAN Legislature Party meeting may just be a formality to name the next chief minister, given that the NPF has 38 MLAs in it, as compared to four of the BJP and one from the JDU.
Who is next?
With Zeliang out of the way, the path may be clear for fellow NPF leader and Nagland’s only Lok Sabha member Neiphiu Rio to be chief minister. Rio, it may be noted, has been chief minister of Nagaland for two terms – from 2003 to 2014 – interspersed by a period of President’s Rule. His name emerges amid efforts by Shurhozelie Liezietsu – also of the NPF – to usurp power.
However, the NPF has managed to thwart Liezietsu – for the moment, atleast – by sneaking out 40 MLAs from the 60-member Assembly to a resort, and they have since then signed a “letter of support” endorsing Rio as their pick for chief minister.
Will this stop the unrest?
The Naga groups have been protesting for quite some time against Zeliang because he wanted to hold elections to urban local bodies (ULBs) with 33 percent reservation for women. Essentially, if he had gotten his way, one out of every three members in every ULB in the state would have been a woman.
However, that is not to be, because the governor has declared the election process to the ULBs null and void. And now, with Zeliang gone, the Naga groups have got their way and shown their strength. This can persuade them to stop their protests, because their demands have been met.
Source Link: http://www.ibtimes.co.in/nagaland-chief-minister-tr-zeliang-resigns-new-chief-minister-be-named-monday-after-resort-716616
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