Nagaland CM Zeliang steps down

Kohima, Feb 19 (IANS) Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang on Sunday decided to step down to make way for a consensus candidate to succeed him.

In a letter to MLAs of the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF), Zeliang said he has decided to resign to break the deadlock between the agitating groups and the government.

The Chief Minister has called for an emergency meeting of the NPF legislature party on Monday at the state banquet hall. This will be followed by a meeting of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) legislature party at the same venue.

Agitating tribal groups have been demanding the resignation of Zeliang over his decision to conduct civic bodies’ elections with 33 per cent reservation for women.

In the 60-member assembly, the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland coalition government comprises 48 NPF legislators, including suspended legislator Imkong Imchen, four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and eight Independents.

On Saturday, more than 50 legislators “signed a letter of support” in favour of the state’s lone Lok Sabha member, Neiphiu Rio, as the new legislature party leader, to replace Zeliang.

–IANS

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