Nagaland Governor PB Acharya on Tuesday appointed Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party leader Neiphiu Rio as the state’s next chief minister, ANI reported. He asked Rio to prove his government’s majority in the Legislative Assembly by March 16. The date of swearing-in has not been announced yet.
Earlier in the day, TR Zeliang resigned as chief minister soon after the NDPP-led alliance staked claim to form government. Zeliang, the leader of Naga People’s Front, had on Sunday refused to step down, claiming he had the support of enough MLAs to retain power.
Zeliang submitted his resignation to Acharya, and said his party would play the role of a constructive Opposition in the state Assembly, PTI reported. Acharya asked him to continue in office till an alternative arrangement is made.
The Bharatiya Janata Party said on Tuesday it would support Rio as the chief ministerial candidate. Twelve BJP MLAs submitted a letter to the governor in support of the NDPP.
In results declared on Saturday, the NDPP won 18 seats in the Assembly elections, while the NPF bagged 26 seats. Besides the BJP legislators, one Janata Dal (United) MLA and one independent MLA have also pledged support to NDPP, taking the alliance beyond the majority mark of 31 in the 60-member Legislative Assembly.
Zeliang had on Sunday said his party could form an alliance with the BJP. Before the elections, the BJP had broken its 15-year-old alliance with Zeliang’s party to tie up with the NDPP.