Even as the counting of votes continues for the Nagaland Assembly election on Saturday, former chief minister Neiphiu Rio has won unopposed from the Northern Angami-II Assembly seat in Kohima district.
He was declared the winner after his rival withdrew his nomination. Following this, Rio resigned from his Lok Sabha seat.
"Rio, an elected member of Lok Sabha from Nagaland parliamentary constituency, has resigned his seat in Lok Sabha and his resignation has been accepted by the Speaker with effect from 22 February, 2018," an official notification said.
Rio quit the Naga People's Front, the party he had formed after leaving the Congress in 2002, and joined a new party – Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) to contest the Assembly polls.
Rio said that he joined NDPP after its leaders declared that the party was committed to supporting the peace process and contributed towards realisation of early solution to the vexed Naga insurgency problem.
The NDPP has tied up with the BJP and is contesting in 40 seats in the 60-member Assembly, while the BJP is fighting in the remaining 20 seats. Talking to NDTV, he said that the fight appears to be a close one but, he hopes that his alliance will get all the required votes.
The 67-year-old, who is often described as the 'tallest leader in Nagaland' had led the state for 11 years. He became the chief minister of Nagaland in 2003 upon winning the Northern Angami-II Assembly. He also won in 2008 and 2013. He, however, resigned in May 2014 along with his council of ministers.
"In 2014, Rio declared that to move the Naga cause ahead, he needed to be a Member of Parliament. He won the lone Lok Sabha seat of the state and left for Delhi, handing over his position of chief minister to colleague TR Zeliang," Mutsikhoyo Yhobu, a leader of Naga Ho Ho, a civil society organisation in Nagaland, was quoted as saying in this Firstpost article.
From August 2014 to February 2018, he was a member of the Committee on Public Accounts. He was also a member of the Standing Committee on Coal and Steel from September 2014 to August 2016.
From September 2015 to February 2018, he was also a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture. Rio has also received The Mother Teresa Millennium Award, 2007 as a renowned social worker and politician.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Mar 03, 2018 13:18:46 IST