Kohima, Feb 22:
Naga People’s Front (NPF) supremo Shurhozelie Liezietsu was on Wednesday sworn in as the 17th Chief Minister of Nagaland following the resignation of T.R. Zeliang.
Governor P.B. Acharya administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 81-year-old veteran leader and an 11-member council of ministers at the Raj Bhavan.
Paiwang Konyak, a BJP legislator and minister in the Zeliang ministry, was also inducted as cabinet minister.
Zeliang resigned on Sunday night, bowing to the demands of protesting tribal groups who were opposed to his move to hold civic polls with 33 per cent reservation for women.
The NPF is the major constituent of the opposition-less Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) coalition government with 48 legislators in the 60-member Nagaland assembly. Eight independents and four Bharatiya Janata Party legislators are part of the DAN government.
Shurhozelie is not a member of the 60-member Nagaland assembly. He was elected eight times to the assembly from Northern Angami assembly constituency. But he did not contest the 2013 election and paved way for his son Khriehu Leizietsu.
Khriehu was inducted as parliamentary secretary of youth resources and sports, Music Task Force and state lottery in the Zeliang government. Khriehu is likely to vacate his seat for his father to contest the by-election after six months.
Assembly Speaker Chotisuh Sazo has been elevated to the rank of a cabinet minister.
Besides Sazo, Shurhozelie inducted former Home Minister Imkong Imchen and G. Kaito Aye as cabinet ministers replacing Public Health Engineering Minister Tokheho Yepthomi, National Highways Minister Nuklutoshi and Forest, Environment & Climate Change Minister, Neikiesalie Nicky Kire.
Among those who have been retained as cabinet ministers from the previous Zeliang ministry are Y. Patton, Kiyanillie Peseyie, P. Longon, C. Kipili Sangtam, C.L. John, Yitachu, Paiwang Konyak, and Y. Vikheho Swu.
Initially, the NPF legislators had plans to elect Nagaland’s lone Lok Sabha member, Neiphiu Rio, as their legislature party leader.
In 2015, Rio had made attempts to oust Zeliang but the NPF had last year suspended him and former Home Minister Imkong Imchen from the party for anti-party activities.
On Tuesday, the NPF supremo revoked Imchen’s suspension from the party after the latter tendered “unconditional apology for his misconduct and anti-party activities”.
Shurhozelie has authored 42 books on poetry, novels, history, drama, translations. Several of his books are part of the syllabus in Nagaland University. He was conferred an honorary D. Litt. by the Nagaland University in 2003.