DIMAPUR, Feb 16 - In a new development, the ruling NPF legislators held a series of meetings that lasted till 11 pm last night to discuss the change of guard in Nagaland in the wake of the mounting pressure from Joint Action Committee (JAC) and Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) for Chief Minister TR Zeliang to step down.
According to reports in the local media here, NFP president and DAN chairman, Dr Shürhozelie Liezietsu was propped up by around 42 legislators to replace Zeliang. However, Zeliang and Governor PB Acharya rushed to Delhi to discuss the ongoing crisis in the State with the Central leadership.
The NPF legislators first held a meeting at the residence of the CM after which another meeting was convened at the residence of Dr Shurhozelie without Zeliang, the reports said.
During the first meeting, there was no decisive outcome despite appeals from some of the legislators asking the CM to step down. So, another meeting was convened at the resident of the party president to discuss the issue, reports said.
After juggling on a number of possible candidates to replace Zeliang, the NPF legislators appear to have zeroed in on its party president Dr Liezietsu to take over and bail out the party from the present situation.
After the meeting at the residence of NPF president, the legislators reportedly went to the residence of the CM again to ask him to make way for a new leader.
There have been reports since the last couple of days of NPF legislators carrying out a signature campaign for the incumbent CM to resign.
The NTAC and JCC had issued an ultimatum to all legislators to withdraw support to Zeliang-led Government within February 17.
However, a CMO release refuted the reports that the NPF had proposed the name of its president Dr Shürhozelie to take the CM’s chair to bail out the party.
The release termed the report as baseless and unfounded as Dr Shurhozelie himself had vowed to stand by Chief Minister Zeliang during the meeting with NPF secretary general and Rajya Sabha MP KG Kenye and Zeliang on February 14 at the CM’s residence.
Shurhozelie had on several occasions made statements that Zeliang would continue as CM beyond 2018, the CMO stated. It also said there was demand for CM, Home Minister, Parliamentary Secretary for Municipal Affairs and DAN chairman & and president’s resignation.
The NPF legislators deliberated on the issue and “unanimously, on their own volition” endorsed their support to let Zeliang continue as the CM, the CMO release stated.
Meanwhile, the Statewide indefinite bandh called by NTAC and JCC entered the fourth day today with the volunteers, including women, enforcing the shutdown in different parts of the State.