Zee Media Bureau
Kohima: Senior Naga People`s Front leader TR Zeliang was on Saturday sworn-in as the 17th Chief Minister of Nagaland, a day after Neiphiu Rio submitted his resignation to Governor Ashwani Kumar after his election to the Lok Sabha.
The Governor administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 62-year-old leader and 11 other ministers in a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan here.
Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, meanwhile, congratulated Zeliang on Twitter.
Congratulations to Shri T R Zeliang on taking oath as Nagaland CM. My best wishes & support in Nagaland's development journey.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 24, 2014
Five NPF leaders - Imkong Imchen, CM Chang, EE Panteang, S Pangyuh Phom and Meren Toshi Jamir - who were Cabinet ministers in Rio`s government have been denied Cabinet berth this time.
Neikiesalie Nicky Kire, C Kipili Sangtam, CL John, Benjongliba Aier, Nuklutoshi and P Longon have been given the charge of Cabinet ministries.
Noke Wangnao, a former minister in Rio`s cabinet and who was also initially a front-runner for chief minister`s post, retained his Cabinet berth. Former home minister G Kaito Aye, Kuzholuzo Nienu, Kiyanilie Peseyie, Yanthungo Patton also retained their berth in Zeliang`s Cabinet.
However, NPF allies comprising Nationalist Congress Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal-United and Independent legislators did not find a Cabinet berth.
Zeliang, 62, a confidant of Rio and the planning and co-ordination minister in the Rio-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland coalition, which also comprises the Nationalist Congress Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Janata Dal-United and Independent legislators, is the 17th Chief Minister of this mountainous state.
In the 60-member Nagaland Assembly, the NPF has 38 members, the NCP four, the BJP and the JD-U have two each, while there are eight Independents. The opposition Congress has eight legislators.
Zeliang has promised that they will continue to uphold the policies and programmes initiated under Rio`s leadership and also try to follow his footprints.
Three-time chief minister Rio, who is likely to find a Cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi ministry, won the Lok Sabha constituency from the state, defeating his nearest Congress rival KV Pusa by 400,225 votes.
(With IANS inputs)