Shurhozelie Liezietsu: Facts you need to know about Nagaland’s next CM | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Shurhozelie Liezietsu: Facts you need to know about Nagaland’s next CM

In a political career spanning nearly five decades, Nagaland’s next chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu has seen all the twists and turns of the state’s politics from close quarters. Similar events over the past five days have resulted in his elevation to the top post. Here are some details about the scholar and linguist.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2017 12:36 IST
Utpal Parashar
Former Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang (left) presents a bouquet to Shurhozelie Liezietsu (right).
Former Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang (left) presents a bouquet to Shurhozelie Liezietsu (right).(File Photo)

In a political career spanning nearly five decades, Nagaland’s next chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu has seen all the twists and turns of the state’s politics from close quarters. Similar events over the past five days have resulted in his elevation to the top post. Here are some details about the scholar and linguist.

• Born on November 20, 1936 in Kohima village, Liezietsu belongs to Angami tribe, one of the 16 major tribes in Nagaland.

• After initial schooling in Mission Public School, Kohima, he completed his matriculation in 1956 from Kohima Government High School and did his graduation from the prestigious St. Edmund’s College, Shillong. He started his career as a clerk in the state secretariat, but later switched to teaching.

• Joined politics in 1969. He is one of the founding members of Nagaland’s first regional party, United Democratic Front (UDF) and later Naga National Democratic Party (NNDP).

• Liezietsu was also crucial in the formation of Nagaland Peoples’ Front (NPF) in 2002. In a political career spanning nearly five decades, he has been an MLA eight times and held several important ministerial portfolios.

• One of the most celebrated writers in Angami literature, he has authored more than 40 books on poetry, novels, history, drama, translations, etc. Several of his books are part of the syllabus in Nagaland University.

• He was elected from Northern Angami-1 seat during the 2003 assembly polls, a seat he retained in 2008. But in 2013, he decided against contesting and the seat was won by the eldest of his four sons Khriehu, who was a parliamentary secretary in the TR Zeliang-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) coalition government of which BJP is a part.

• “He decided against contesting as he wanted to retire and rest. But he became president of NPF and chairman of DAN, a post with cabinet status,” said Dr. Imotemsu Ao, Registrar of Global Open University Nagaland, who has written a biography on Liezietsu.

• Besides writing and politics, Liezietsu has a keen interest in gardening. President of Ura Academy, the state’s highest literary body, he was conferred an honorary D.Litt. by the Nagaland University in 2003.

• Once he takes charge, he will become the 11th chief minister of the state. Since he is not a member of the assembly, Liezietsu will have to get elected within six months, most probably from the Northern Angami -1 seat, which his son is likely to vacate in his favour.

• Liezietsu has the tough task of managing factions within the party, take decisions on holding the urban local body (ULB) polls with 33% reservation for women (an issue which cost his predecessor the post) and also prepare NPF for the 2018 assembly polls.

• There are speculations in Kohima that Liezietsu isn’t keen on contesting polls and would want to shift the CM’s responsibility to someone younger after a few months in office.