In what can be seen as rallying of forces behind the former Chief Minister TR Zeliang, several NPF legislators today confirmed that TR still enjoys the support of the Assembly but that he was compelled to step down from his chair by violent mobs who demanded his resignation within a specific period of time and that he had gracefully resigned for the sake of peace and harmony in the society.
Attending the launching of the National Rurban Mission at Pedi (Ngwalwa) in Peren district this morning, Chotisuh Sazo, Minister for PHED, said that the 60-member House support the leadership of TR Zeliang but he “sacrificed for the sake of peace and harmony in the society.”
“We collectively decided to hold elections tot eh Urban Local Bodies to preempt the Supreme Court from passing any adverse decision which would affect Article 371 A. Civil societies also protested holding of elections to the ULBs with 33% reservation of seats for women to protect traditional and customary practices of the Nagas as enshrined in Article 371. But due to the entry of politically-vested interests in the movement, TR Zeliang had to vacate his chair,” he said.
Parliamentary Secretary for Law & Justice, and SIRD Er Picto Shohe said he along with the other 59 members of the Assembly support the leadership of TR Zeliang but that due to “outside forces” he had to vacate his CMship.
Narrating the imagery given to him by an elderly citizen of Peren district where he served for 8 years before contesting elections in 2013, Er Picto said the elderly gentleman told him that he felt sorry for the rock in the stream because for no fault of it, the rock had been turned one side or the other by various visitors to the district from different Naga tribes while hunting and collecting fish and crabs from the streams and rivers.
“Likewise,” Er Picto said, “for no fault of TR Zeliang, he had been replaced by forces from outside the Assembly.”
Minister for RD and REPA CL John, who was the Guest of Honour in today’s function, went on to mention as to how TR Zeliang was “crucified for no fault of his but how the Government was saved by his supreme sacrifice.”
However, he was all praise for the regional party NPF which he said would “continue till the Second Coming of Christ” and went on to mention about the smooth transition of power from TR Zeliang to Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu who “magnanimously parted with most of his powers to make TR Zeliang as comfortable as he can be.”
“In a few years from now, the seeds sown by former Chief Minister TR Zeliang would sprout up for all to see, such as the various National Highway projects he had initiated and got the approval and sanction from the Government of India,” John said and went on to laud the blacktopping of the road between Sainik School Junction, Punglwa to Jalukie and the various bridge constructions coming up in between.
The Chair of the Chief Minister does not belong to any single person and just as Dr Hokishe and Dr SC Jamir had occupied the seat, vacated but came back to occupy the same seat, “I am hopeful that one day or the other, TR Zeliang will come back to lead us. Do not be disappointed that he has resigned, because in a year or so, elections are due and I am confident that he shall return to occupy the seat he has just vacated.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Resources & Sports Khekaho Assumi said the people of the district should not be disappointed since “there always is another day and we do not doubt for a moment that TR Zeliang would come back to head the State sooner or later.”
He rued that there were some elements in the district who openly demanded that TR Zeliang step down “even when he was not at fault since the decision to hold elections tot eh ULBs with 33% reservation was a collective decision where even Parliamentary Secretaries were invited to meetings and their opinions sought on the matter.”
TR Zeliang, who was the Chief Guest in launching the first of its kind in the State, National Rurban Mission at Ngwalwa wherein facilities available to Urban areas are being sought to be provided to rural areas where clusters of villages are clubbed together ranging from 5000 to 15000 population, was accompanied by Cabinet Ministers Longon, CL John, Chotisuh Sazo, G Kaito Aye and Parliamentary Secretaries Tohanba, S Chuba, Amenba Yaden, Eshak Konyak, Er Picto, Er Levi, Yolow, Toyang Chang, Khekaho Assumi and Khumo.
Media & Press Bureau
Naga People’s Front, Central Office