Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio was on Thursday sworn in as the Chief Minister of Nagaland. This is Rio's fourth term as head of the northeastern state. Meanwhile, BJP President Amit Shah and senior party leaders arrived in Agartala ahead of the formation of a BJP-led government in Tripura on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Governor P.B. Acharya administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 67-year-old Rio, who is heading a People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) coalition.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yanthungo Patton was made the Deputy Chief Minister.
The PDA includes 18 members from NDPP, 12 from BJP, one from the Janata Dal-United and an Independent in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly.
Rio previously held the office in 2003-08, 2008-13 and 2013-14, making him the only Chief Minister of Nagaland to have served three consecutive terms.
He was elected from the state’s lone Lok Sabha seat in 2014.
Rio resigned as MP after he was elected unopposed as a member of the Assembly last month from the Northern Angami-II seat in Kohima district.
Rio will prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before March 16.
The new Chief Minister said that the PDA will ensure good governance and draw a new roadmap for Nagaland’s development under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s growth agenda.
Present at the oath-taking ceremony were Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, BJP President Amit Shah, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav along with the Chief Ministers of Assam (Sarbananda Sonowal), Arunachal Pradesh (Pema Khandu), Manipur (N. Biren Singh) and Meghalaya (Conrad Sangma).
Outgoing Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang, who resigned on Tuesday, was also present.
Senior BJP legislators Paiwang Konyak, Jacob Zhimomi, S. Pangnyu Phom, V. Kashiho Sangtam and Temjem Imna Along were sworn in as Cabinet ministers.
The lone Janata Dal-United MLA, G. Kaito Aye, and Independent legislator Tongpang Ozukum also joined the Cabinet.
The NDPP-BJP, which stitched a pre-poll alliance and contested in 40 and 20 Assembly seats respectively, formed the PDA with the Janata Dal-United, National People’s Party and Independent member after the election results were declared on March 3.
The tribal-centric NPP, which won two seats in Nagaland, withdrew its support to the PDA coalition saying they were yet to obtain endorsement from its party President Conrad Sangma.
The NPF won 27 seats in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly.
On Monday, the BJP announced it had severed its 15-year-old alliance with the NPF.
BJP President Amit Shah and senior party leaders arrived in Agartala on Thursday ahead of the formation of a BJP-led government in Tripura on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Apart from Modi, a host of Central ministers and leaders and Chief Ministers of several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled states would attend the swearing-in-ceremony of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and his Council of Ministers.
BJP’s Tripura Pradesh Vice President Subal Bhowmik said that Amit Shah, BJP’s National General Secretary Ram Madhav, General Secretary (Organisation) Ajay Jamwal and Assam minister and Tripura election-in-charge Himanta Biswa Sarma, among other leaders, “held a series of meetings with the state leaders to select the ministers, assembly Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other important functionaries”.
He said that Sarma, who is the convenor of the BJP-led anti-Congress alliance, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), on Wednesday held a meeting with the saffron party’s electoral ally IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) and returned to Guwahati.
IPFT President Narendra Chandra Debbarma said the party has demanded four ministerial berths from the BJP and “we have discussed with Sarma and other leaders accordingly”.
“We are yet to confirm how many ministerial berths would be offered to us. Discussions are still on,” Debbarma said.
Chief Minister-designate Deb announced on Tuesday that the party’s tribal leader Jishnu Debbarma will be Deputy Chief Minister.
Tripura’s royal family scion Jishnu Debbarma is the BJP nominee for Charilam assembly constituency (reserved for tribals), where the election was countermanded following the death of the Communist Party of India-Marxist candidate and it would be held on Monday.
The BJP and the IPFT swept the February 18 polls, winning 43 of the 59 seats.
The BJP secured 35 seats in the 60-member Assembly and the IPFT, a tribal-based party, eight. The CPI-M got 16 seats while the Left Front partners — Communist Party of India, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party — besides once main opposition Congress drew blank.
A non-Left government would assume office on Friday for the first time in a quarter of a century.
BJP’s Bhowmik also said that in the Deb-led government there would be a representation of women, youth, leaders of tribals and Scheduled Castes and other backward communities.
Meanwhile, all the outgoing ministers, including Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, are leaving their official residences and checking into MLA hostel, party offices and rented houses.
West Tripura District Magistrate Milind Ramteke and West District Police chief Abhijit Saptarshi are supervising the administrative and security arrangements for the swearing-in-ceremony of the new BJP government at the Assam Rifles ground.
“People would attend the swearing-in-ceremony from all across the state. In view of the possible arrival of the Prime Minister and other VVIPs in Friday’s swearing-in-ceremony, elaborate security arrangements are being put in place,” Saptarshi told the media. (IANS)