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Zeliang rejects demand for his resignation
CORRESPONDENT
 DIMAPUR, Feb 9 - Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang has rejected outright the demand of apex Naga tribe organisations to step down owning moral responsibility for the deaths of two youths and injuries to others in police firing on January 31.

Zeliang said he found no reason to resign since the demand for his resignation is beyond the issue of 33 per cent women reservation. However, he stated that he can only step down if majority of the elected members say so or through a floor test. “As long as I enjoy majority support, there is no need for me to resign,” he asserted. He said this while addressing media persons in Kohima on Tuesday.

On the Cabinet decision to approach the Prime Minister to issue an Ordinance to exempt Nagaland from Part IXA of the Constitution on women reservation, Zeliang said the State Government will also consult the people. He said the State Government had upheld the Constitution of India with regard to Article 371A through the State Assembly and taking a House resolution is nothing new.

Seeking to know the reason behind the ongoing bandh since the government had met all the demands by postponing the elections and nullifying the election process, he said despite having acceded to the demands, yet he was asked to resign. He said this was beyond the 33 per cent women reservation and felt that there is politics at play.

Expressing grief at the loss of two innocent lives, the Chief Minister said a Judicial Inquiry Committee (JIC) has been set up to find out the facts about the firing and those responsible will be punished.

Zeliang alleged that some “vested interests” were behind the recent agitations as it involved a huge expenditure to feed several thousand people for the past one week or ten days.

Meanwhile, Governor PB Acharya at a meeting on Tuesday with the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues urged them to resolve the crisis through dialogue. He also urged the NBCC to continue the efforts to restore peace. He further appealed to NGOs, tribal hohos, Nagaland Tribes Action Committee and civil organisations to work for an amicable solution through dialogue, a Raj Bhavan release stated.

Yesterday, the Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) and the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) had demanded the resignation of Zeliang by February 10.

The demand was made after a marathon meeting of Naga tribe Hohos in Kohima on Tuesday, a joint communiqué issued by NTAC convenor KT Vilie, general secretary CT Jamir and JCC convenor Supu Jamir said.

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