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Rio first Nagaland CM to take oath outside Raj Bhavan tomorrow

March 07, 2018 22:47 IST

In a first, the new Nagaland government headed by Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party leader Neiphiu Rio will take oath at a public function at the Kohima Local Ground on Thursday.

The venue holds significance as the announcement of Nagaland's statehood on December 1, 1963 was made from Kohima by the then president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

The NDPP, in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, will take over the reins of the north-eastern state with the support of 32 MLAs.

The alliance has chosen senior NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio as the chief minister.


Governor P B Acharya would administer the oath of office and secrecy to Rio and the 11 ministers at the main rostrum of the ground, in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president Amit Shah, official sources said in Kohima on Wednesday.

The state has invited the common people to the ceremony through newspaper advertisements issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations, they added.

The swearing-in ceremonies in the state have so far been high-profile shows at the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhavan, with VVIPs, VIPs and top bureaucrats in attendance.

The newly-mandated alliance government, comprising 32 elected members of the NDPP, BJP, Janata Dal-United and an Independent, however, has decided to take oath before the public.

Rio will be assuming the charge of Nagaland chief minister for the fourth time. He had served his three previous terms between 2003 and May, 2014.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was reportedly requested to grace the swearing-in ceremony as this was the first time the BJP had won 12 seats in the state, had expressed his inability to attend it, a source in the Raj Bhavan said.

NDPP secretary general Abu Metha said Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma were also expected to attend the ceremony.

As the swearing-in ceremony would be held at the Kohima Local Ground, the stretch between the Y-junction and the DC office was repaired to ensure a smooth commute, sources said.

The district administration and the police had made adequate security arrangements and traffic had also been streamlined for tomorrow's ceremony, they added.

IPFT to get 2 ministers in new Tripura cabinet

The Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, an ally of the BJP that won the assembly elections in Tripura, today said they would get two berths in the cabinet.

The issue of number of ministers the tribal party would get was finalised in a meeting with Assam minister and chairman of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma.

"We had demanded four berths in the cabinet, but later agreed to accept two berths. It was decided that the BJP would consider our demands to give more berths if possible. We are happy," IPFT Secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatiya told reporters.

Asked about the portfolios given to them, he said it cannot be disclosed before the cabinet takes oath on March 9.

The IPFT had earlier demanded 'respectable representation' in the new cabinet and that the chief minister be selected from among the tribal MLAs.

On these, Jamatiya said, "These are old issues and we do not want to discuss these now. We are happy."

With a 60-member assembly, Tripura can have a maximum of 12 ministers including the chief minister.

Sarma said he finalised the the architecture of the cooperation between the BJP and the IPFT for the new government in Tripura.

'Today I met Shri NC Debbarma and all elected MLAs and office-bearers of Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) in #Agartala and finalized the architecture of the cooperation between @BJP4Tripura and IPFT for the new government in Tripura,' he said in a tweet.

The BJP-IPFT combine swept to power in the state last week, winning 43 seats in the 60-member Assembly. The BJP bagged 35 seats and the IPFT eight.

The BJP state president Biplab Kumar Deb would be sworn in as the chief Minister tomorrow. Senior indigenous leader and member of Tripura royal family Jishnu Devvarma would be his deputy. He is also from the BJP.

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