Kohima: The ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), along with its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which retained power in Nagaland for a second straight term by winning 37 seats together in the 60-member Assembly, is likely to assume office on March 7.
Party sources said that the swearing-in ceremony of the Chief Minister and other ministers will be held in Kohima on March 7.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several central BJP leaders and ministers are likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Outgoing Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who on Friday was unanimously elected as the leader of the NDPP legislative party, submitted his resignation letter to Governor La Ganesan on Saturday.
After meeting the Governor, Rio tweeted: “As my tenure has come to an end, I submitted my resignation as Chief Minister of Nagaland to Governor La Ganesan.”
NDPP sources said that Rio is likely to stake his claim to form the next government on Monday after a meeting with alliance partner BJP on Sunday.
Rio (72), Nagaland’s longest serving Chief Minister, is set to assume the top post for a fifth straight term on March 7. In the February 27 Assembly polls, Rio defeated Congress’ Seyievelie Sachu, a greenhorn in state politics, in Northern Angami II by a record margin of 15,824 votes.
The NDPP and BJP, which contested the elections in a 40:20 seat-sharing arrangement, had earlier announced before the elections that if voted to power, Rio would retain the Chief Minister’s post.
The NDPP won 25 seats, eight more than its 2018 tally, while the BJP secured 12 seats, same as last elections.
The Congress, which governed the state for many years till 2003, had contested 23 seats but drew a blank once again. The grand old party had no legislator in the outgoing Assembly.
Nagaland Congress President Kewekhape Therie lost in Dimapur against BJP’s H. Tovihoto Ayemi by a margin of 6,959 votes.
In the February 27 elections, the results of which were declared on March 2, Nationalist Congress Party secured six seats; National People’s Party led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma managed five seats; Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas Paswan), Nagala People’s Front and Republican Party of India (Ramdas Athawale) bagged two seats each; Janata Dal (United) bagged one seat; while four seats were won by Independent candidates.
Nagaland’s Deputy Chief Minister and BJP legislative party leader Yanthungo Patton (Tyui), former Chief Minister Taditui Rangkau Zeliang (Peren), and Nagaland BJP chief Temjen Imna Along (Alongtaki) were all re-elected to the Assembly.
Meanwhile, for the first time in Nagaland’s electoral history, two women — Salhoutuonuo Kruse (Western Angami) and Hekani Jakhalu (Dimapur-III), both NDPP nominees — were elected to the Nagaland Assembly.