In February this year, T R Zeliang had to step down from the post of Chief Minister of Nagaland following intense protests against his decision to conduct civic bodies’ elections with 33 per cent reservation for women. He was promptly replaced by veteran leader Dr Shurhozellie Liezietsu. However, just five months have passed since then, and Zeliang is all set to become the Chief Minister again by overthrowing Liezietsu.
Situation in Nagaland
It is really baffling to understand the politics in Nagaland right now. Few months back, people were hell bent on removing Zeliang as a Chief Minister and protesters even died in the protests. But, now he suddenly seems very sure of capturing the throne once again after reportedly receiving the support from 43 out of 59 MLA s in the Nagaland assembly.
As per the latest developments, Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya had Tuesday asked Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before July 15. But as the Liezietsu Cabinet challenged the governor with a terse legal argument, the governor on Thursday said he would go by the Constitution if the chief minister refused to take the floor test.
Allegations against Chief Minister
The Zeliang camp brought allegations of nepotism against Dr Liezietsu after he appointed his son Khriehu Leizietsu as the advisor to the Chief Minister. However, on Monday, Khriehu doused the controversy by letting his father know that he is not interested in the job.
Sources say that this is just an excuse to topple Liezietsu government and the real issue is something else. ‘ Liezietsu is digging into the case of former Nagaland top cop M K R Pillai, a recent raid on whom has revealed that he had amassed black money worth a staggering Rs 400 crore. He is suspected to be a front for corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who reportedly carried on their shady dealing with his help. Much of these happened during Zeliang tenure and he fears that he might get exposed. So, if he returns to power once again, he can control the situation. Many MLA s who have supported him have done so out of similar fear’ says the source.
Road ahead for Zeliang
However, there is still considerable public anger against Zeliang. Already, few youth forums in the State have warned him against taking up the post. If he becomes the Chief Minister, serious law and order complication might arise again in Nagaland. Zeliang himself is aware of that and while he along with his fellow leaders were rescued from a flooded resort in Kaziranga today, if something goes wrong with his calculations in the coming days, there might not be anyone to save his political career.