Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang is believed to have left for Delhi on Thursday to meet “central leaders” after 42 legislators of the Nagaland People’s Front party signed a memorandum seeking his resignation. The MLAs have recommended Shurhozelie Liezietsu’s name for the top post, reported The Asian Age. He is the chairman of the NPF-Bharatiya Janata Party’s Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government. The NPF has 48 MLAs in the 60-member state Assembly.

Protesting tribal groups had told the legislators to resign by Friday or face the consequences in the next Assembly polls. The development is a fallout of the ongoing crisis in the state over the 33% reservation for women in the local body polls. The groups spearheading the protests in the state include the Nagaland Tribes Action Committee and Joint Coordination Committee.

On February 2, members of tribal groups went on a rampage to demand that the state government roll back the reservation for women. The civic polls were called off after two protestors were killed in police firing. Protests intensified after Chief Minister TR Zeliang refused to resign from his post following the killings. Protestors vandalised government property and set vehicles on fire in the city. The Kohima Municipal Council building, Regional Transport office and the Excise Department office were destroyed by the angry mob. Five Army columns were deployed in the city.

Civic polls in the state have been held up since 2004 on the issue of 33% reservation for women in urban local bodies, mandated by Article 243 (T) of the Constitution. Tribal groups have held that the reservations interfere with Naga customary laws and protections guaranteed to them under Article 371(A) of the Constitution.