Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu today failed to show up for a floor test, in an unprecedented twist to the turmoil in the state over the past few weeks.
Mr Liezietsu, who is facing a rebellion in his Naga People's Front Party, had been ordered by governor PB Acharya to face a floor test after his petition against it was rejected by the Gauhati High Court.
The Chief Minister went to court last week after his predecessor, Congress's TR Zeliang, sent letters of support from 41 of the state's 60 lawmakers to the Governor.
Asked by the governor to prove his strength, Mr Liezietsu petitioned against the order in court. The rebel lawmakers are believed to be staying at a resort 300 km away in Assam's Kaziranga National Park.
Sensing a rebellion, the Chief Minister had on July 9 sacked four of his six ministers and suspended a dozen-odd lawmakers.
The court said on Tuesday while dismissing the petition of the Chief Minister that, "The matter is left to the wisdom of the governor to take a decision on the same after proper application of mind."
Hours later, the governor asked for an emergency special session for a trust vote.
Mr Zeliang, the previous chief minister, was forced to quit in February after large scale protests by tribal groups who were opposed to his move to hold civic polls with 33 per cent reservation for women.
In his letter to the Governor, Mr Zeliang wrote, "The legislators also urged the present Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu, who is a non-legislator, to resign and pave way for me to take over as the Chief Minister."