Nagaland Peoples Front MLAs deserted party president Shurhozelie Liezietsu vying to replace Zeliang.
GUWAHATI, Feb 18: In a dramatic turn of political development in trouble-torn Nagaland, former chief minister Neiphu Rio is all set to replace the current Chief Minister T R Zeliang, who will resign from his post on Saturday.
At least 45 legislators of ruling Nagaland Peoples Front (NPF) on Saturday deserted its party president Shurhozelie Liezietsu who was contemplating to replace Zeliang, sources in the NPF told this newspaper. A total of 45 legislators have reached in a resort at Kaziranga National Park in Assam where they are meeting Zeliang and Rio on Saturday, they added.
Zeliang and Rio, who were in New Delhi, have also left for the Ayora Resort where the legislators are camping.
Indicating that Zeliang would step down and Rio, who is the Member of Parliament, will be elected the new leader of the NPF legislature party in a meeting in Kaziranga.
Indicating that formula to end the impasse was worked out in New Delhi, security sources, however, admitted that Liezietsu had managed to take the signature of at least 34 legislators in his support but majority of them were reluctant to see him as their leader. In fact, a group of nearly 20 legislators led by some cabinet ministers openly revolted against the candidature of Liezietsu on Friday in Kohima.
The legislators had started leaving Kohima on Friday night as Liezietsu was preparing to stake claim to replace Zeliang soon after the arrival of Nagaland Governor P B Acharya from New Delhi.
Security sources said that Rio and Zeliang met union home minister Rajnath Singh and other senior officers of the ministry in New Delhi before finalizing a compromising formula to end the impasse in Nagaland.
Sources said that the BJP, which has four MLAs, would continue to be the part of new government led by Rio.
Source: Asian Age