KOHIMA: In a first, the new Nagaland government headed by NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio will take oath at a public function at the Kohima Local Ground today.
The venue holds significance as the announcement of Nagaland's statehood on December 1, 1963 was made from here by the then president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), in alliance with the BJP, will take over the reins of the north-eastern state with the support of 32 MLAs.
The alliance has chosen senior NDPP leader Rio as the chief minister.
Governor P B Acharya would administer the oath of office and secrecy to Rio and the 11 ministers at the main rostrum of the ground, in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president Amit Shah, official sources said here today.
The state had invited the common people to the ceremony through newspaper advertisements issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations, they added.
The swearing-in ceremonies in the state have so far been high-profile shows at the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhavan, with VVIPs, VIPs and top bureaucrats in attendance.
The newly-mandated alliance government, comprising 32 elected members of the NDPP, BJP, JD(U) and an Independent, however, has decided to take oath before the public.
Rio will be assuming the charge of Nagaland chief minister for the fourth time.
He had served his three previous terms between 2003 and May, 2014.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was reportedly requested to grace the swearing-in ceremony as this was the first time the BJP had won 12 seats in the state, had expressed his inability to attend it, a source in the Raj Bhavan said.
NDPP secretary general Abu Metha said Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma were also expected to attend the ceremony.
As the swearing-in ceremony would be held at the Kohima Local Ground, the stretch between the Y-junction and the DC office was repaired to ensure a smooth commute, sources said.
The district administration and the police had made adequate security arrangements and traffic had also been streamlined for tomorrow's ceremony, they added.