Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio on March 7 took oath as the Chief Minister of Nagaland for the fifth term. The 72-year-old politician was administered the oath of secrecy by Governor La Ganesan. This is Mr. Rio’s fifth term, his second on the trot as a leader of the NDPP.
Taditui Rangkau Zeliang and Yanthungo Patton took oath as Deputy Chief Ministers of Nagaland in Kohima, while other members of the Rio Cabinet also took oath.
State BJP chief Temjen Imna Along, widely popular on social media across the country for his sense of humour, and Salhoutuonuo Kruse, one of the two women elected to Nagaland Assembly for the first time, were among those who were sworn in as members of the council of Ministers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Nagaland Governor La Ganesan, BJP president J.P. Nadda and Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma were among those present at the oath-taking ceremony in Kohima.
Mr. Rio will be leading an all-party government with no Opposition in his State even as the Central Government continues talks with former rebels of the NSCN (IM) to finalise a long-awaited peace accord in the border State.
The NDPP-BJP coalition, in the recently concluded Nagaland polls, won 37 seats in the 60-member Assembly.
The NDPP-BJP coalition in Nagaland has a total of 37 MLAs, but the 60-member House has virtually no Opposition, with almost all the other 23 MLAs from various parties and Independents having backed the government. Seven MLAs from the NDPP and five from the BJP got cabinet berths in Nagaland.
All other parties in the State subsequently extended their letters of support to the Mr. Rio-led alliance.
Since the commencement of the election campaign, both NDPP and BJP had projected Mr. Rio as their chief ministerial candidate.
(with PTI inputs)