Zeliang quits as Nagaland CM, Rio to be sworn in on Thursday

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Kohima, March 6 (IANS) Veteran Naga People’s Front (NPF) leader T.R. Zeliang on Tuesday resigned as Chief Minister of Nagaland after the BJP turned down its offer for a post-poll alliance to form a new government.

On the other hand, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), which forged a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), unanimously elected Neiphiu Rio as its Legislature Party leader.

Governor P.B. Acharya asked Zeliang to continue in office until Rio is sworn in as Chief Minister on February 8.

“After coming to know of the decision of the BJP severing ties with NPF, I am submitting the resignation of the Council of Ministers headed by me with a request to accept the same with immediate effect,” Zeliang said in his letter to Acharya.

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The outgoing Chief Minister said the NPF would extend full support to the new government wherever its decisions were in the larger interests of the Naga people apart from playing a constructive role of opposition in furthering the overall cause of the Nagas.

Zeliang said Nagaland cannot be left out of the vigorous developmental process.

“An honourable and acceptable settlement to the Naga political issue, in pursuance of the Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015, is the fervent wish of the Naga people as a whole. A durable peace in the state may be possible only under a united aegis in the Legislative Assembly,” he said.

Expressing its sincere appreciation to the electorate of Nagaland for giving its mandate in favour of the NDPP-BJP alliance under the leadership of the Chief Ministerial candidate Rio, the NDPP appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support and positive participation in the election campaign.

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