The NPF breaks up, but if the BJP is planning to do an ‘Arunachal’, they might not find the going easy
In February, T.R. Zeliang of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) was ousted as chief minister of Nagaland following the government’s announcement of 33 per cent reservation for women in the civic polls. It had led to protests and violence by several Naga tribal groups. Many felt that it challenged traditional customs of Naga society, which is now 90 per cent Christian. Zeliang’s decision to empower women was also seen as a consequence of the growing influence of the RSS and BJP in the state. He was replaced by Shurhozelie Liezietsu, the 81-year-old NPF president. “Zeliang’s proximity to BJP general secretary Ram Madhav had angered many in the party. The latter’s interference in internal party matters was unacceptable,” an NPF leader who did not want to be named, had said then.
But in less than five months, Zeliang is back in the hot seat, thanks to his alleged friendship with the BJP. Sources say that with Shurhozelie showing no signs of vacating the seat for Zeliang—within the scheduled six months, as decided by the two leaders earlier—alliance partner
BJP stepped in. In February, former chief minister Neiphiu Rio, in a desperate attempt to return to state politics, had played a key role in orchestrating the coup against Zeliang. This time, BJP
BACK IN THE CHAIR
File picture of reinstated chief minster T.R. Zeliang