On March 7, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the swearing-in ceremonies for the chief ministers of Meghalaya and Nagaland. In the two northeastern states, the BJP is a junior partner of the local parties.
Nagaland welcomes first female minister
Salhoutuono Kruse was sworn in as the first female minister in Nagaland’s history on Tuesday in Kohima, along with 72-year-old Prime Minister Neiphiu Rio and nine other cabinet members. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also there.
Since Nagaland’s inception in 1963, Hekani Jakhalu and Kruse are the first women elected to the state assembly, making history last week.
Prime Minister for the fifth time
Days after his Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), regained control of the state last week by winning 37 of the 60 assembly seats, Rio was sworn in as prime minister for fifth time.
In addition, Yanthungo Patton (BJP) and TR Zeliang (NDPP) were sworn in as Rio deputies by Governor La Ganesan. In the council of ministers, the NDPP has seven seats while the BJP has five. Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister, JP Nadda, the leader of the BJP, and Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Prime Minister of Assam, were among those present at the ceremony.
Sangma, his two deputies, Prestone Tynsong and Sniawbhaland Dhar, and nine other ministers were sworn in by Governor Phagu Chauhan. The only minister admitted was M. Ampareen Lyngdoh.
Following assembly elections last month, the BJP and Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP) formed an agreement to establish the new government. The PNP increased its total from the 20 seats it had won in the 2018 election to 25, though it still lacked a majority in the 60-member assembly. The BJP managed to win two seats.
A rainbow coalition
Prestone Tynsong and Sniawbhalang Dhar, both from the NPP, were sworn in as deputy prime ministers, demonstrating the power of the local party in the rainbow coalition that has retaken power.
Interestingly, the BJP had called the Sangma administration the “most corrupt” before the election, but was one of the first parties to agree to form a government in the state after the vote.