Shurozelie Liezitsu to be sworn in as Nagaland CM on February 22

Shurozelie Liezitsu to be sworn in as Nagaland CM on February 22
Nagaland People's Front president Shurhozelie Liezitsu will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister on February 22.

He was today invited by Governor P B Acharya to form the next government after he emerged as the unanimous choice for the post and formally staked his claim.

Accompanied by the outgoing Chief Minister T R Zeliang, Liezitsu met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan where he staked claim to form the next government.

Earlier in the day, Liezitsu was chosen to replace Zeliang at a meeting of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) legislators 59 of whom attended, the Naga People's Front (NPF) sources said.

Zeliang had resigned yesterday against the backdrop of widespread protests in the state triggered by his government's decision to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in urban local bodies. The Governor had accepted his resignation and asked him to continue till alternative arrangements were made.

81-year-old Liezietsu lauded Zeliang’s "supreme sacrifice" of vacating his chair to save Naga people from further turmoil.

"He has done this with a big heart and I want all to recognize this sacrifice," Liezitsu said in his address to DAN legislators after his unanimous election. He called upon the MLAs to forgive each other, if there were differences among them, and move ahead together in the interest of the Naga society.

Outgoing Chief Minister Zeliang, while congratulating Liezietsu on his election as the leader of the DAN Legislature Party, expressed confidence that the state will benefit immensely from his experience and statesmanship.

Zeliang narrated how attempts to destabilise his government had failed. He said some individuals and organisations that had supported election to the ULBs with 33 per cent reservation for women a few months back took U-turns and opposed it.

"What was supposed to be a social movement took strange directions when politically vested interests started spearheading the movement resulting in loss of lives and injuries to some, razing of several government properties and innocent public held to ransom as bandhs and restrictions on movement were imposed," Zeliang said.

Zeliang said, "While our main objective was to safeguard the interest of women through the reservation of seats for them in the ULBs, the irony is that women were on the streets as bandh volunteers called tribal organisations to topple my government."

Zeliang also lauded the role Neiphiu Rio, MP and former Chief Minister, played to bring normalcy in the Naga society when various organisations had brought the functioning of the government to a grinding halt.

Zeliang had gone to Delhi on February 16 after seeking two-three days time to step down and ensure a smooth transition of power. Nagaland has been rocked by widespread protests since last month after the state government announced 33 per cent reservation for women in the ULBs.

The January 31 firing incident, which claimed the lives of two protestors in Dimapur, prompted the demands by powerful tribal organisations for declaring the ongoing polls null and void and suspension of senior officials.

Though the election process was called off and officials shifted, the tribal bodies continued to insist on Zeliang's resignation and even set February 17 as the deadline for it.
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