DIMAPUR, July 19 - TR Zeliang who along with 37 NPF MLAs and seven Independents has been rebelling against former Nagaland Chief Minister Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu since July 7 was sworn in as the 19th Chief Minister of Nagaland today.
Meanwhile, the Naga People�s Front (NPF) has expelled Zeliang with immediate effect from today for six years, highly placed sources confirmed.
Zeliang was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor PB Acharya at Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, Kohima after Liezietsu and the 11 MLAs, including an Independent, supporting him did not show up to take a floor test in the State Assembly at 9:30 am today.
After the swearing-in ceremony, a Raj Bhavan release said Governor Acharya dismissed Chief Minister Liezietsu as he failed to attend the emergent Assembly session convened for the purpose of testing majority of the Cabinet led by him despite being given repeated opportunities. As per report of the Speaker, 48 MLAs led by Zeliang, including the Speaker, were present in the Assembly but Liezietsu and 11 others were conspicuously absent, the release said.
The Governor had asked Zeliang to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before�July 22. The ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) coalition has 47 NPF legislators, four BJP members, and eight Independents.
Earlier on the day, Speaker Dr Imtiwapng Aier adjourned the emergent special session sine die as no business could be transacted in the Assembly after Liezietsu failed to turn up for the trial of strength as directed by the Governor. The Speaker informed the House that the outcome of the emergent special session would be sent to the Governor.
After taking oath of office, Zeliang said he would prove his majority on the floor of the House on�July 21 and thereafter, he will announce his council of ministers. This is his second stint as Nagaland Chief Minister within a span of three years. He had to leave his chair in February this year after a huge public outcry over holding of urban local body elections with 33 per cent reservation for women.
Beleaguered former Chief Minister Liezietsu yesterday said he has no intention to cling to power and asserted that he would pave the way for Zeliang to take over the Chief Minister�s chair after the State general election due early next year.
�I am already retired from politics,� he said.
Liezietsu also wondered aloud how an apparently impatient Zeliang has teamed up with former Chief Minister and now Lok Sabha MP Neiphiu Rio to unseat him by any means.