GUWAHATI: Nagaland became the country’s only opposition-less state as Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislator Y.M Yollow Konyak was sworn in as minister on Wednesday.
The development came five months after all the ruling and opposition parties in the state came together to form India’s first opposition-less government to take forward the Naga political issue between the Centre and Naga outfits and various other groups.
Assam and Nagaland Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi administered the oath of office and secrecy to Konyak at Raj Bhavan in Kohima.
Following the death of the then Forest and Environment Minister C.M. Chang of the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) in October 2020, one cabinet berth had been lying vacant.
The NPF was the only opposition party in Nagaland and in September last year, in a significant development, had formed the UDA in alliance with the ruling NDPP and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party and two Independent MLAs.
Meanwhile, NPF legislature party leader TR Zeliang has been appointed as the new UDA Chairman, replacing Rio in the post.
Nagaland government spokesman and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Neiba Kronu said that Zeliang would enjoy the status of a cabinet minister.
In the 60-member assembly, the NDPP has 21 MLAs, the NPF 25, the BJP 12, and two are Independents.
The NDPP and the BJP had an alliance before the 2018 Assembly elections.
In July last year, opposition NPF proposed an all-party government to unitedly push for an early solution to the Naga political issue and the opposition-less all party government was announced in September last year
With Wednesday’s induction, the 12-member ministry now has four ministers from the NDPP, six ministers from the BJP and one Independent MLA.
The latest political development comes after almost all the parties in the northeastern state came together and formed the Core Committee on Naga Political Issue (CCoNPI) led by Rio on June 16 last year.