Shri Vishnu Sahay
(From 01-12-1963 to 16-04-1968)
On 1st December, 1963, Shri Vishnu Sahay, the Governor of Assam, took over the additional responsibility of the Governor of Nagaland. A five-member caretaker Ministry, headed by Shri P. Shilu Ao, was administered the oath of office by the Governor. The first General Election to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly was held in January, 1964 and the Nagaland Nationalist Organization (NNO) was voted to power with a decisive mandate. The first session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly was held on March 2, 1964 with the address given by the Governor Shri Vishnu Sahay.
Internal dissensions led to the tabling of the first No-Confidence Motion in the Assembly against the Ministry headed by Shri Shilu Ao. Shri T.N. Angami, the Speaker, replaced Shri Shilu Ao as the Chief Minister.
The tenure of the Governor Shri Vishnu Sahay saw strife and trouble but at the same time, progress towards peace. It also witnessed the unfolding of electoral democracy and deeper involvement of elected representatives in the governance of the affairs of the State. While laying down his office, Shri Vishnu Sahay strongly recommended for a separate Governor of the State.
The Raj Bhavan for quite some time, was the epicentre of political activities (till Shri. L.P. Singh’s time 19-9-1973) in a new born State with the Governor remaining fairly actively engaged in dealing with matters relating to law and order and the peace process. The grant of statehood to Nagaland had not resulted in cessation of hostilities and violence. A Peace Mission comprising S/Shri Jaya Prakasha Narayan, B.P. Chaliha and Rev. Michael Scott was formed to enter into negotiations with the undergrounds. The Peace Mission and the Governor, acting on behalf of the Government of India, were instrumental in the signing of the agreement with the undergrounds, resulting in suspension of operations by the underground and the Government from September 6, 1964. The cessation of hostilities and the dawn of peace was an historic event with widespread rejoicing amongst the people.
The Governor remained in the thick of peace efforts that took off and stayed on in Kohima to guide the delegation and the Government for a long time. The Peace Mission became defunct by May 1966 with the resignation of two of its members (Shri B.P. Chaliha and Shri J.P. Narayan) and expulsion of Rev. Michael Scott. However, the dialogue for the first time, between the undergrounds and the Government of India, lasted six rounds at the Prime Minister’s level till 1967.