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24 take oath in Nagaland

Kohima, May 29: Nagaland chief minister T.R. Zeliang today administered the oath of office to 24 parliamentary secretaries today.

The chief minister is expected to appoint some more MLAs as advisers to some departments.

The 91st amendment to the Constitution reduced the strength of ministers in smaller states like Nagaland to only 12.

However, the very purpose of this move has been badly defeated with the appointment of dozens of parliamentary secretaries and advisers.

Among the prominent faces inducted today are former home and health minister T.M. Lotha, former minister for information and public relations Thomas Ngullie, former minister for higher and technical education Deo Nukhu, former minister for law and justice Yitachu, former minister for geology and mining Pukhayi Sumi, brother of former chief minister Neiphiu Rio, Zhaleo Rio, son of Shurhozelie Liezietsu, NPF president Khriehu Liezietsu, former president of Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) Vikheho Swu, among others.

Four Independents and two NCP legislators were also inducted, along with the NPF legislators.

The DAN government has 38 NPF, one BJP and JD(U), four NCP members and eight Independents.

Former home and health minister Imkong L. Imchen, who was axed recently, did not attend today’s function.

Ministers who were dropped recently refused to comment.

Former commerce and industries minister Pangnyu Phom and former minister for tourism and Deputy Speaker E.E. Panteang refused to comment too.

A three-time NPF legislator and currently adviser to department of underdeveloped areas, Naiba Konyak, also skirted the question of why he was not inducted into the cabinet.

“It is the prerogative of the chief minister,” he said.