Neiphiu Rio was on Tuesday sworn in for a third straight term as the 19th chief minister of Nagaland along with 11 ministers including Imkong L.Imchen, who was arrested after recovery of cash and arms from his car last month.
All the eleven ministers were from his own party, the Naga People’s Front (NPF), which had won 38 seats in the 60-member house. They were administered oaths of office by Governor Nikhil Kumar at a glittering function at the Durbar Hall of Raj Bhavan here.
The Governor administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 63-year-old chief minister, followed by his ministers, Noke Konyak, T. R. Zeliang, G. Kaito Aye, Imchen, Kuzholuzo Nienu, Kiyaneilie Peseyie, Yanthungo Patton, C.M. Chang, E.E.Pangteang, S. Pangyuh Phom and R.Merentoshi Jamir.
Imchen, who was Home minister in the earlier ministry, had been arrested after recovery of Rs 1.10 crore in cash, arms and ammunition from his car in Wokha district on February 18. He had subsequently resigned.
The chief minister after the ceremony at Raj Bhavan later swore in 21 parliamentary secretaries.
But the portfolios were not announced.
Later in the evening, when the supporters of elected member Dr Neikiesalie Nicky Kire learnt about the portfolios of the ministers and parliamentary secretaries disgruntlement started.
The supporters mainly representing the 9th Kohima Town Assembly Constituency shouted slogans alleging that Rio had failed to uphold his own promise made to the people of Kohima during the election campaign that the bigger the margin the better the portfolio for a NPF candidate.
Supporters of Dr. Kire gathered outside the NPF central office demanding that his portfolio of Parliamentary Secretary for Land Revenue and Law & Justice should be changed and vandalised the NPF office breaking window panes and shouting slogans ‘we want justice’.
The angry supporters than proceeded towards the chief minister’s official residence shouting slogans demanding justice and fulfillment of the election campaign promise.
Kire, however, intervened and pacified the mob urging them to wait till tomorrow as he with other leaders of his constituency would have a meeting with the chief minister.
Nonetheless, his supporters continued to shout slogans and remained outside the CMO gate with IRB and police personnel blocking their entry.
The supporters dispersed only after the leaders convinced them that they would resort to own course of action if nothing came up tomorrow.
Earlier Noke Konyak was given the Social Welfare portfolio, TR Zeliang Planning & Co-ordination, Evaluation, Geology & Mining, G Kaito Aye Home, Imkong L Imchen Health & Family Welfare, Kuzholuzo Nienu Roads & Bridges, Parliamentary Affairs, Kiyaneilie Peseyie Public Health Engineering, Yanthungo Patton Forest and Border Affairs, CM Chang School Education, EE Pangteang Tourism, Art & Culture and Election, S Pangyuh Phom Industries & Commerce and R Merentoshi Jamir Youth Resources & Sports, Labour & Employment.
Rio, Noke, Zeliang, Aye, Imchen and Nienu served earlier as ministers.
Peseyie, Yanthungo Patton, CM Chang, EE Pangteang, and R Merentoshi Jamir were six who would hold cabinet rank for the first time.
Jamir at 32 and the youngest among the ministers was the only fresh face to be given a berth.