GUWAHATI: Conrad Sangma, the chief of the PA Sangma-founded National People’s Party (NPP), was sworn in as the twelfth Chief Minister of Meghalaya on a day Neiphiu Rio was appointed as head of the Nagaland government following the much-delayed resignation of TR Zeliang.Conrad, 40, took oath along with 11 Cabinet ministers at a swearing-in ceremony attended by, among others, BJP national president Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. “I want to say that we as a Cabinet, as a government and in fact, all the MLAs and political parties, will work together to take our state forward,” the new Chief Minister told reporters later.
His 11-member team includes Prestone Tynsong, Sniawbhalang Dhar, Comingone Ymbon, Conrad’s brother James PK Sangma, Lakhmen Rymbui, Kyrmen Shylla, Metbah Lyngdoh, Banteidor Lyngdoh, Hamlet Dohling, Samlin Malngiang and AL Hek. They were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ganga Prasad.In Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio of the newly floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) was appointed CM under Clause (1) of Article 164 of the Constitution by the Governor.
In a letter to Rio, Governor PB Acharya said he had received letters of support in his favour from MLAs of the BJP, JD-U and an Independent, apart from the NDPP legislators.Rio, a three-time former Chief Minister, will be sworn-in on March 8 at a public ground in Kohima along with 11 ministers. He has been asked to prove his majority on or before March 16.
Rio’s appointment followed Zeliang’s resignation as Nagaland CM after much dilly-dallying. Zeliang told reporters in Kohima that his Naga People’s Front (NPF) would play the role of a constructive Opposition.
Zeliang delayed his resignation by two days in an attempt to secure the support of the BJP despite the BJP-NDPP combine having staked claim to form the government with the support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member House.
On Sunday, Zeliang was given 48 hours by the Governor to submit a letter of support from BJP chief Shah after he claimed the NPF’s 15-year alliance with the saffron party was still on. He also cited the names of two BJP ministers in his government. One of them resigned on Monday while the other lost the election.
The NPF will sit in the Opposition despite emerging as the single largest party by winning 27 seats. The BJP-NDPP combine has 30 seats and is backed by a JD-U MLA and an Independent.