T. R. Zeliang is the 10th Chief Minister of Nagaland. A leader of the Nagaland People’s Front, Zeliang took over the reins from former Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio following the latter’s move to national-level politics in Delhi. Zeliang is a former Member of Parliament, representing Nagaland in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament.
Early life and education
T. R. Zeliang is the son of Rangleu Zeliang. He was born on 21 February in 1952 from Mbaupungwa Village of Peren District. A Zeliang Naga, T. R. Zeliang matriculated from Don Bosco High School in Dibrugarh, Assam. While in college, he was President of Zeliangrong Students Union, General Secretary of Zeliangrong Action Committee and Zeliangrong Youth Organisation and later became the President of Peren District Youth Congress of the Indian National Congress.
Zeliang contested the Nagaland Assembly elections of 1982 and 1987 unsuccessfully from the Tening Assembly Constituency. He then won from Tening four times in a row, beginning with the election of 1989 as a candidate of the Naga People’s Council and subsequently in 1993, 1998 and 2003 as a candidate of the Indian National Congress. He served as Minister of State for Information and Tourism during 1989–90 and as Minister of State for Relief & Rehabilitation from 1994 to 1998. During 1998 – 2003, he was the Minister for Environment and Forests under S. C. Jamir. In 2003, Zeliang and six Congress MLAs broke away from the Indian National Congress, formed the Nagaland Congress and merged with Neiphiu Rio-led Naga People’s Front. From 2003 to 2004, he was Minister for Geology & Mining and from 2004 to 2008 he was the Member of Parliament to the Rajya Sabha from Nagaland. Returning to state politics, he successfully contested elections from Peren Constituency in 2008 and 2013, and became the Minister for Planning & Coordination, Evaluation, Veterinary & Animal Husbandry and Parliamentary Affairs under Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio.
Chief Minister of Nagaland
Zeliang, who had been Minister for Planning and Coordination in the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland III Ministry, succeeded Neiphiu Rio as the Chief Minister following Rio’s election to the Lok Sabha in the Indian General Elections of 2014.