Former Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang has staked his claim to form the government, after more than 40 legislators rebelled against the current chief minister. The current Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu has sacked ten of the rebel MLAs from their posts as his advisers.

The rebellion is said to have been triggered by the chief minister nominating his son Khriehu Liezietsu as an adviser in the government, after he had vacated his Assembly seat for his father. Shurhozelie Liezietsu is standing for bye-election from Northern Angami on July 29. He took over from Zeliang in February. Liezietsu said he was deeply pained by the recent disturbing developments affecting the normal functioning of the government, The Shillong Times reported.

On Saturday, Zeliang had written to Governor PB Acharya, staking his claim to form government since he claimed the support of 33 Naga People’s Front MLAs and seven Independent legislators. The state’s Assembly has 60 members. The NPF leads the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland, which the Bharatiya Janata Party is also part of.

In February, the NPF had forced Zeliang to resign as chief minister, after they demanded he revoke reservation for women.

Nagaland’s Assembly polls will be held in 2018.