| T.R. Zeliang being sworn in as chief minister in Kohima on Saturday. Telegraph picture |
Kohima, May 24: T.R. Zeliang was sworn in as the new chief minister of Nagaland today along with 11 cabinet ministers. He succeeds Neiphiu Rio, who has been elected to the Lok Sabha.
Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi tweeted: “Congratulations to TR Zeliang on taking oath as Nagaland CM. My best wishes and support in Nagaland’s development journey. Zeliang’s party, the NPF, is a member of the BJP-led NDA.
Zeliang inducted six new cabinet ministers and retained five. Among the new faces are P. Longon, deputy chairman of State Planning Board, and parliamentary secretaries Nuklutoshi Ao, Benjongliba Ao, C. Kipli Sangtam and Nicky Kire.
The retained ministers are Noke Wangnao, Kuzholuzo Nienu, Kiyanilie Peseyie, G. Kaito and Y. Patton. Those axed are minister for health and family welfare Imkong L. Imchen, minister for sports and youth resource Merentoshi R. Jamir, tourism minister E.E. Panteang, school education minister C.M. Chang and commerce and industries minister Pangyu Phom. All five were in Wangnao’s camp during the tussle for the chief minister’s post.
Zeliang said the list of portfolios would be announced soon. Rio’s brother Zhaleo Rio who is parliamentary secretary for urban development was not elevated to the cabinet as speculated. Rio, who attended the swearing-in, said there was no question of Zeliang doing justice or injustice to him while constituting a new cabinet.
Zeliang admitted to differences in the party during the tussle for chair but added that everything had been resolved.
Laying out his priorities, he said his government would try for an early solution to the Naga political problem and for permanent peace in the state.
On the economic front, he said his government would work towards development, equality, greater investment and generating employment avenues for educated youths. He said his government would try to become self-sufficient by engaging in resource mobilisation through exploration of natural resources.
Border dispute: One person was killed and four were seriously injured this morning during a clash between residents of Nagaland living along the state’s disputed border with Assam near Dimapur and the Assam police. While a civilian was killed and another injured, three Assam police personnel were injured when unknown persons fired on them. Dimapur administration and police have rushed to the spot.