Governor Ashwani Kumar administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 62-year-old leader and 11 other ministers in a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan in state capital Kohima.
Rio submitted his resignation Friday to Governor Ashwani Kumar after his election to the Lok Sabha. The former three-time chief minister is likely get a ministry in the Narendra Modi cabinet.
Five NPF leaders – Imkong Imchen, C.M. Chang, E.E. Panteang, S. Pangyuh Phom and Meren Toshi Jamir – who were cabinet ministers in Rio’s government have been denied cabinet berth this time.
Neikiesalie Nicky Kire, C. Kipili Sangtam, C.L. John, Benjongliba Aier, Nuklutoshi and P. Longon have been given the charge of cabinet ministries.
Noke Wangnao, a former minister in Rio’s cabinet and who was also initially a front-runner for chief minister’s post, retained his cabinet berth. Former home minister G. Kaito Aye, Kuzholuzo Nienu, Kiyanilie Peseyie, Yanthungo Patton also retained their berth in Zeliang’s cabinet.
However, NPF allies comprising Nationalist Congress Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal-United and Independent legislators did not find a cabinet berth.
In the 60-member Nagaland assembly, the NPF has 38 members, the NCP four, the BJP and the JD-U have two each, while there are eight Independents. The opposition Congress has eight legislators.
Zeliang has promised that they will continue to uphold the policies and programmes initiated under Rio’s leadership and also try to follow his footprints.