Zelinag first became the Chief Minister of Nagaland in May 2014 after the previous DAN alliance leader, Neiphiu Rio, was elected to the Lok Sabha. He stepped down in February 2017 over agitations against the government for the reserving 33 percent of the urban local body seats for women.
The current Chief Minister of Nagaland TR Zeliang faces uncertainty from the stiff competition given by the BJP and the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) alliance.
The 66-year-old veteran has taken up various roles in the state government before taking up the helm of the state in July 2017. He leads the Naga People’s Front (NPF)-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN).
Zelinag first became the Chief Minister of Nagaland in May 2014 after the previous DAN alliance leader, Neiphiu Rio, was elected to the Lok Sabha. Zelinag stepped down in February 2017 over agitations against the government for the reserving 33 percent of the urban local body seats for women.
Zeliang was born in 1952 at the Mbaupungwa village in the Peren district. A Zeliang Naga, he has been active in Nagaland’s politics since the last four decades, starting with his role as the president of the district Youth Congress in 1976.
He did not win a seat on the first two occasions he stood for elections in 1982 as an independent candidate and in 1987 as a member of the Naga National Democratic Party. He contested from the 6-Tening constituency in Nagaland's Peren district.
Tening would later turn out to be his stronghold as he won four times in a row from there in the 1989, 1993, 1998 and 2003 elections. He first won as a candidate of the Naga People's Council. The subsequent elections were clinched as a member of the Congress party.
Zeliang was the Minister of State for Information and Tourism from 1989-90. He would be the Minister of State for Relief and Rehabilitation from 1994 to 1998 and the Minister of Forest and Environment in 2003.
Zeliang formed the Nagaland Congress on June 27, 2003, after defecting from the Congress along with six other MLAs. Zeliang would become the minister for geology and mining after merging his party with the Neiphiu Rio-led Naga People's Front (NPF).He also served a term as a Rajya Sabha member for Nagaland from 2004 to 2008 before going back to state politics as the Planning, Animal Husbandry and Parliamentary Affairs Minister in 2008.