KAZIRANGA, Feb 18 - A change of political leadership in Nagaland appeared imminent with more than 50 MLAs having decided to withdraw their support to Chief Minister TR Zeliang due to civil unrest in different Naga societies.
Informing this development at a resort in Kaziranga, where more than 50 sitting MLAs had assembled to chalk out their future course of action, Nagaland Parliamentary Secretary for Information and Public Relations Khekaho said the people of their state want Zeliang to step down as he could not control the crisis that had arisen after his government decided to hold urban local body elections with 33 per cent reservation for women.
The Parliamentary Secretary went on to add that the people of Nagaland also wanted the implementation of the particular Article in the Constitution which guarantees that the traditions and customs of the tribal and ethnic population must prevail, meaning the 33 per cent reservation for women should not be imposed on the Naga societies.
Sources said that MLAs belonging to the Naga People�s Front (NPF) along with some independent MLAs had come to Kaziranga to elect their new leader. Sources informed that there are chances that Nephiu Rio would be elected as their new leader who may become the Chief Minister of Nagaland.
It may be mentioned here that Nagaland has been experiencing a bandh for the past 15 days as the people there do not want urban local body elections to be held unless the provision of the 33 per cent reservation for women is removed.
An MLA Thomas had earlier categorically said that they wanted a change in their leadership and preferred Nephiu Rio as their new Chief Minister. Sources close to this political drama told this correspondent that Nephiu Rio may be inducted into the Union Council of Ministers in near future.
Meanwhile, Rio is on the way to Kaziranga and details will be available after the MLAs have a meeting late tonight at the resort in Kaziranga. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has already summoned Nagaland Governor PB Archarya and Chief Minister TR Zeliang to New Delhi for a discussion on the issue, sources said.