PDA will redraw Nagaland's all-inclusive roadmap for Devt: Rio
IANS KOHIMA, 8th Mar: Newly sworn-in Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday said the People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) coalition government will redraw a new roadmap of progressive development in Nagaland.
"We have committed in our manifesto that we will remove VIP culture from Nagaland. We will ensure that the citizens of the state are the real VIPs," Rio said after he took oath as Chief Minister for the fourth time.
The PDA includes 18 members from Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), 12 from BJP, one from the Janata Dal-United and an Independent in the 60-member state assembly.
"Our alliance has come to power on the back of a campaign that promised change," he said.
Promising good governance, rule of transparency and commitment to bring about a culture of meritocracy, Rio said: "We will redraw a new roadmap of progressive development in a manner that is all inclusive and involves all stakeholders."
The veteran Naga politician promised the Chief Ministers of Assam (Sarbananda Sonowal), Arunachal Pradesh (Pema Khandu), Manipur (N Biren Singh) and Meghalaya (Conrad Sangma) the fullest cooperation of his government to work together under a spirit of unity and understanding in the greater interest of the people.
On the ongoing Naga peace dialogue, the Chief Minister said the alliance remained committed to its promise of facilitating the peace process.
"We will make every effort to contribute towards achievement of an honourable solution that is inclusive and acceptable to the people as early as possible.
"We will extend our fullest cooperation to the Centre under Prime Minister Narendra Modi in our collective endeavour to bring lasting peace and all round development in Nagaland," he added.
He expressed hope that both the treasury and opposition would work together in a constructive manner in order to bring about economic growth and all round development.
While congratulating all ranks and files of the NDPP and BJP, he said: "Our campaign has remained dignified, responsible and mature and we can say with pride that we have strengthened the foundations of democracy with our conduct."
"We are humbled by our victory and the People's Democratic Alliance, which includes the JDU, the NPP and the Independent, promise that we will not allow any vote cast in our favour to go in vain.
"We will bring change, we will work for all sections and we will leave no one behind," the Chief Minister stated.
"We are honoured to have Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman," Rio said, on the day, which was also celebrated as "International Women's Day" and added that his party "NDPP stands for women empowerment and gender equality".
The NDPP-BJP, which stitched a pre-poll alliance and contested in 40 and 20 assembly seats, respectively, formed the PDA 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 its party President Conrad Sangma.
The NPF won 27 seats in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly. This is Rio's fourth term as head of the northeastern state. Governor PB Acharya administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 67-year-old Rio.
BJP leader Yanthungo Patton was made the Deputy Chief Minister. Rio previously held the office in 2003-08, 2008-13 and 2013-14, making him the only Chief Minister of Nagaland to have served three consecutive terms.
He was elected from the state's lone Lok Sabha seat in 2014. Rio resigned as MP after he was elected unopposed as a member of the Assembly last month from the Northern Angami-II seat in Kohima district.
Rio will prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before March 16. Also present at the oath taking ceremony were Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, BJP President Amit Shah and BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav.
Outgoing Chief Minister TR Zeliang, who resigned on Tuesday, was also present.