Nagaland CM allocates portfolios to new ministers

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Kohima, March 12 (IANS) Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Monday allocated portfolios to his newly-inducted ministers, keeping Finance, Personnel and Administrative Reforms with himself.

Senior BJP leader Yanthungo Patton, who was made the Deputy Chief Minister, was given the Home and National Highways Department.

The allocation of the portfolios comes amid media reports that the newly sworn-in Ministers from the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party were wrangling over plum Cabinet berths.

The lone Janata Dal-United MLA, G. Kaito Aye, and Independent legislator Tongpang Ozukum were given Agriculture and Cooperation and Public Works Department respectively.

BJP leader P. Paiwang Konyak, who retained his ministerial berth, was allocated Transport, Communication, Railways and Land Resources.

Health and Family Welfare was given to S. Pangyu Phom, while Jacob Zhimomi was allotted Public Health Engineering Department.

V. Kashiho Sangtam and Temjen Imna Along will look after Soil and Water Conservation, Women and Child Development, and Higher Education and Technical Education respectively.

Senior NDPP legislator C.M. Chang was given Forest, Environment and Climate Change besides Parliamentary Affairs.

Neiba Kronu was given Planning and Coordination, besides Land Revenue.

Bureaucrat turned NDPP legislator Metsubo Jamir will handle Urban Development and Municipal Affairs.

Rio, who heads a four-party People’s Democratic Alliance coalition government, was sworn in on March 8.

The NDPP and BJP, which stitched a pre-poll alliance and contested 40 and 20 Assembly seats respectively, formed the PDA with the Janata Dal-United, National People’s Party and an Independent member after the election results were declared on March 3.

The tribal-centric NPP, which won two seats in Nagaland, withdrew its support to the PDA coalition saying they were yet to obtain endorsement from party Pesident Conrad Sangma.

The NPF won 27 seats in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly.

On March 5, the BJP announced it had severed its 15-year-old alliance with the NPF.



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