Guwahati: Neiphiu Rio and Conrad K. Sangma were sworn- in as Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Meghalaya, respectively on Tuesday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister
Amit Shah, BJP president JP Nadda and other leaders.
The 72-year-old Rio, who heads NDPP, a regional ally of BJP was administered the oath as CM for the fifth Time while Conrad, 45 became Meghalaya CM for the second consecutive term. Sangma heads the National People’s Party (NPP), which leads the coalition in which BJP is a minor ally, like in 2018.Two deputy Chief Ministers each in both Nagaland and Meghalaya were also sworn-in on Tuesday.
In Nagaland capital Kohima, Governor La Ganesan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Rio and 11 other MLAs. Yanthungo Patton of BJP and TR Zeliang of NDPP took oath as deputy CMs. Patton was the only deputy CM in 2018. Five BJP MLAs including Salhoutuonuo Kruse, the first woman MLA in Nagaland, took oaths as ministers. The remaining seven including Rio belong to the NDPP.
The occasion scripted history in Nagaland as Kruse became the first woman minister in the Christian dominated state. Two women, Hekani Jakhalu and Kruse were elected as first women MLAs in the state. Temjen Imna Along, the president of BJP’s Nagaland unit was another prominent name, who also took oath as a cabinet minister.
The NDPP won 25 out of 60 Assembly seats while BJP retained its 2018 tally of 12 this time. NDPP-BJP contested the Assembly elections on a 40:20 seat sharing arrangement. Rio had served as Nagaland CM
four times earlier (2003-08, 2008-2013, 2014-2018, 2018- 2023) and was projected as CM candidate by the alliance before the elections held on February 27.
Sangma and 11 other MLAs were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Phagu Chauhan at a ceremony in Shillong. Two senior NPP MLAs, Prestone Tysong and Sniawbhalang Dhar took oath as two deputy CMs while nine other MLAs were sworn in as ministers in the Conrad-led cabinet.
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, who heads the North East Democratic Alliance, a forum of
BJP and its allies in the Northeast, also attended both the functions.
Among the ministers, eight belong to NPP, two from UDP and one each from BJP and HSPDP.
Other MLAs, who were sworn in as ministers are Ampareen Lyngdoh, Paul Lyngdoh, Comingone
Ymbon, Abu Taher Mondal, Kyrmen Shylla, Marcuise N. Marak, Rakkam A. Sangma, Shakliar War-
jri. A.L. Hek of BJP took oath as a minister for the next two-and-half years. Shanbor Shullai, the
other BJP MLA will replace Hek as a minister after two-and-half-years, sources said.
Conrad, the son of former Lok Sabha Speaker, P A Sangma became the CM for the first time in
2018, when NPP emerged as the second biggest party with 19 seats. Conrad stitched the Meghalaya
Democratic Alliance (MDA), in which UDP, BJP, HDPDP, UDF and others were partners. This time
too, the parties have formed a similar coalition named as MDA 2.0 even as they fought the elections
against each other. The MDA 2.0 has 45 MLAs now. (Courtesy: Deccan Herald)