Shurhozeilie to take oath as Nagaland CM on Wednesday

Nagaland Chief Minister designate Shurhozeilie Leizietsu on Monday met Governor P.B. Acharya here to stake claim to form a new government. He will take oath on Wednesday. Shurhozeilie will be the 17th Chief Minister of Nagaland.

The 81-year-old Naga People’s Front (NPF) leader was elected head of the NPF legislature party after Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang resigned on Sunday night bowing to the demands of protesting tribal groups opposed to his move to hold civic polls with 33 per cent reservation for women.

The Governor accepted Zeliang’s resignation but asked him to continue in office till an alternative arrangement was made.

“Shurhozeilie will take oath of office as the Chief Minister on February 22 along with his council of ministers,” a Raj Bhavan official told IANS.

Initially, the NPF legislators had plans to elect Nagaland’s lone Lok Sabha member, Neiphiu Rio, as their legislature party leader.

Rio, a three-time Nagaland Chief Minister, met the NPF legislators at a resort in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park on Saturday.

In 2015, Rio had made attempts to oust Zeliang but the NPF had last year suspended him and former Home Minister Imkong Imchen from the party for anti-party activities.

“Shurhozelie has been unanimously elected the new legislature party leader of the NPF and also of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government,” Nagaland’s lone Rajya Sabha member K.G. Kenye told IANS.

The legislators also elected Zeliang as Chairman of the DAN Co-ordination Committee.

The NPF is the major constituent of the opposition-less DAN coalition government with 48 legislators, including its suspended NPF member Imkong Imchen, in the 60-member Nagaland assembly.

Eight independents and four Bharatiya Janata Party legislators are part of the DAN government.

In his acceptance speech after he was unanimously elected Leader of the DAN legislature party, Shurhozelie lauded Zeling’s “supreme sacrifice” of vacating his chair to save Naga people from going into further turmoil.

“I will do my best to see that we work together to bring back normalcy to our land and society. A lot of damage has been done to the fair name of Nagaland and our economy has been adversely affected in the last few weeks. I hope good sense will prevail so that people can come together and rebuild our society,” the Chief Minister designate said.

Shurhozelie has been elected to the Nagaland assembly eight times from Northern Angami assembly constituency. But he did not contest the 2013 election and paved way for his son Khriehu Leizietsu.

Khriehu was inducted as parliamentary secretary of youth resources and sports, Music Task Force and state lottery in the Zeliang government.

He is likely to vacate his seat for his father to contest the by-election after six months.

Nagaland has been in turmoil since January after Zeliang decided to hold local body elections in 12 towns across the state. The government has been in limbo following an indefinite shutdown.

Meanwhile, the powerful Naga Student’s Federation has asked the government to restore internet (mobile data services) which was shut since January 31.

Published by The Sentinel

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