Wily politician Rio likely to be CM

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Kohima, Mar 9 (UNI) Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) leader and former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who staked claim today to form the government, has proved to be a wily politician.

Much before the polls, Mr Rio had claimed that he would earn the people's sympathy as he was 'injudiciously' dismissed by the Centre which had imposed President's Rule on the state on January 3.

His prediction proved right.

His party, the Nagaland Peoples Front, grabbed the maximum number of 26 seats in the 60-member Assembly in the March 5 polls. Now, along with alliance partners BJP and NCP, the DAN has 34 members in its kitty.

Born in the Angami tribe on November 11, 1950 in Touphema village under Kohima district, Mr Rio had been an active student leader.

He went to the Baptist English School here followed by Sainik School in West Bengal's Purulia district.

He then went on to receive higher education from St Joseph's College in Darjeeling and graduated from Kohima Arts College here.

He was the Honorary vice-president of IRCS, Nagaland Branch and has been Life time Deputy Governor (Honorary) Board of Governors, American Biographical Institute Research Association since 1999.

After entering politics as president of the then Kohima United Democratic Front (UDF) youth wing in 1974, he was appointed as the acting president of the UDF Youth Wing of Nagaland in 1976.

He became the chairman of the Northern Angami Area Council in 1984 and has been was a member of AICC from 1993 till 2002.

On May 30, 1995 Mr Rio providentially escaped an assassination bid on him near Dimapur.

Mr Rio was first elected to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly from Northern Angami-II constituency on a Congress ticket in 1989.

He was then appointed as Minister for Sports and School Education.

Subsequently, he was appointed Cabinet Minister for Higher and Technical Education, Art and Culture.

He also served as Chairman of the Nagaland Industrial Development Corporation (NIDC) and Development Authority of Nagaland.

In 1993 he was re-elected from the same constituency as a Congress candidate and appointed Minister for Works and Housing.

In 1998 he went on to become the Minister for Home and resigned from the S C Jamir ministry on September 20, 2002. He also resigned from the ninth Assembly and as a Congress member on November seven, 2002.

After forming the NPF in 2002, he formed DAN and was elected from his constituency on an NPF ticket in 2003 Assembly polls.

He was elected the leader of the DAN on March five 2003 and appointed Chief Minister March six.

However, after the imposition of President's Rule in the state January three last, the Assembly has been kept under suspended animatation.

UNI AS PP PL RR RAI2000

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