Veteran NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday took oath as chief minister of Nagaland for a fifth term.
The 72-year-old was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor La Ganesan at the Capital Cultural Hall in Kohima.
NDPPs T R Zeliang and BJPs Yanthungo Patton were sworn-in as deputy chief ministers. Other members of the Rio cabinet also took oath.
State BJP chief Temjen Imna Along, popular on social media for his sense of humour, and Salhoutuonuo Kruse, one of the two women elected to Nagaland assembly for the first time, were among those sworn in as ministers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda and Assam Chief Minister and NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma were present on the occasion.
In all, Rio’s cabinet has seven ministers from the NDPP and five from the BJP.
Others in the cabinet include NDPP’s G Kaito Aye, K G Kenye, Metsubo Jamir and C L John as well as BJP’s Jacob Zhimomi, P Paiwang Konyak, Temjen Imna Along and P Bashangmonba Chang.
Kruse and Chang are fresh faces in the ministry.
Interacting with reporters, Rio thanked people and newly elected MLAs for giving him the fifth term as the chief minister.
Other political parties including the NCP, NPP, Naga Peoples Front, RPI (A), LJP (Ram Vilas), JD(U) and Independent MLAs have extended support to the NDPP-BJP alliance, leaving no opposition.
He said portfolios of the cabinet ministers would be decided after the first cabinet meeting.
The NDPP-BJP alliance won 37 seats in the 60-member House in the assembly polls in the state.
All other parties in the state have extended their support to the ruling alliance.
Rio first became the chief minister of Nagaland in 2003, and again in 2008 and in 2013. He resigned in 2014 and went to the Lok Sabha, before again heading the state in 2018.
With his fifth term, Rio has become the longest serving chief minister of Nagaland.
(With agency inputs)