Kohima: Senior Naga People's Front (NPF) leader and Minister T.R. Zeliang will be the next Nagaland chief minister replacing Neiphiu Rio, a party leader said Wednesday.
"They (NPF legislators) have chosen Zeliang as chief minister after Noke Wangnao (public health engineering minister) withdrew himself from the race (for the post of chief minister)," Rio told IANS.
"Wangnao's decision will pave way for a smooth transition and will ensure unity of the party to provide a stable government to work towards economic development and achieving permanent peace," the chief minister said.
The swearing-in of Zeliang is likely to take place after the formation of the new government at the centre.
Zeliang, 62, a confidant of Rio, is currently the planning and co-ordination minister in the Rio-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland coalition, comprising the Nationalist Congress Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the JD-(U) and independent legislators.