About 15 MLAs, including parliamentary secretaries in Mr Zeliang’s government, shifted to Hotel Japfu in Kohima.
Guwahati: While the Naga Tribes Action Committee-led agitation on Monday paralysed the functioning of the government completely in Nagaland, the attempt by governor P.B. Acharya to broker peace between beleaguered chief minister T.R. Zeliang and the Naga tribal leaders failed to elicit any result.
Mr Acharya met leaders of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council and some NTAC leaders on Monday in a bid to resolve the crisis, but sources in the tribal council at Kohima told this newspaper most tribal leaders ruled out any chance of a compromise with the chief minister.
Indicating central BJP leaders were lobbying hard to rescue Mr Zeliang from the crisis, NTAC leaders said they would announce a fresh action plan to intensify the agitation after meeting all the Naga Hoho leaders in Kohima on Tuesday.
About 15 MLAs, including parliamentary secretaries in Mr Zeliang’s government, shifted to Hotel Japfu in Kohima on Monday. Sources said some NPF MLAs were asked to stay at the CM’s bungalow as well.
Former CM Neiphu Rio, who was camping in Kohima, also left for New Delhi on Tuesday amidst speculation that he had been called by the central BJP leaders. Mr Rio is among front-runners to replace Mr Zeliang in the backdrop of the ongoing protests.
Pointing out that the chief minister had also called the Naga Hoho and other tribal councils for a meeting on Tuesday, sources said most of the Naga Hoho would boycott the meeting with the CM on Tuesday.
NTAC convenor K.T. Vilie reiterated their stand on Monday and asserted: “The chief minister is responsible for all the trouble. He is responsible for the death of two youths in police firing outside his residence in Dimapur on January 31. He is also responsible for the mob fury that led to the burning down of so many government offices in Kohima on February 3, so he must step down.” The NTAC has asked the Angami Youth Organisation (AYO) and the youth groups of other tribes to mobilise support to cripple the government machinery. With the police deciding to avoid any confrontation with protesters, the state secretariat in Kohima remained locked even on Monday. The AYO has locked the state secretariat since Saturday. Neither the chief minister nor his council of ministers could come out of their homes as the protesters laid siege and kept a close watch on their movements.
Hectic lobbying has started within the Nagaland Peoples’ Front for propping up an alternative to Mr Zeliang. NPF chief Shürhozelie is said to be backing former minister Azo Neinu, while home minister Y. Patton is believed to be floating the name of PHED minister Tekheho Yepthomi to take charge.