Topsy-turvy distribution of power continues in the run-up to 2018 elections
Kohima, Dec. 16 (EMN): Barely three months before the next general elections in Nagaland– scheduled for February / March 2018—Chief Minister TR Zeliang has on Saturday inducted six new members into his cabinet.
The oath of office and secrecy was administered by Governor PB Acharya during a simple ceremony at the Durbar Hall of the Raj Bhavan in Kohima. In the ceremony were Zeliang and some senior ministers including Imkong L Imchen and G Kaito Aye among others.
Out of the six newly-inducted ministers, five were from the NPF including SI Jamir, P Longon, Küzholüzo Nienu, CL John and Vikheho Swu; from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was P Paiwang Konyak, who also found a cabinet berth.
The reshuffle came after Zeliang sacked six cabinet ministers citing reasons to provide ‘stability’ to the government.
According to reliable sources, the sacking was to pave way for induction of Shürhozelie Liezietsu’s loyalists in the cabinet, following the signing of a ‘memorandum of reconciliation’ on Dec. 8.
The ministers sacked on Dec. 15 were Y Patton (Home), Tokheho Yepthomi (School Education and Parliamentary Affairs), Neikiesalie Nicky Kire (Roads and Bridges), Neiba Kronu (Environment, Climate Change and Forest), and EE Pangteang (Rural Development) and BJP minister Mmhonlumo Kikon (Geology and Mining).
Following the ‘memorandum of reconciliation,’ the NPF President Liezietsu revoked the expulsion of 20 NPF legislators and suspension of 13 other party leaders including Member of Parliament for Lok Sabha Neiphiu Rio on Dec. 15. It may be recalled that the NPF party had expelled Zeliang and others for six years soon after Zeliang took over as the chief minister for the second time on July 19.
It was just five months ago on July 22 when Zeliang inducted a new team of cabinet after the fall of Liezietsu’s ministry. The ministers whose posts are still intact with CM Zeliang are G Kaito Aye, Imkong L Imchen, Kipili Sangtam, Imtilemba Sangtam and Kejong Chang.