Last Updated on August 8, 2021
Neiphiu Rio (born 11 November 1950) is an Indian politician who is the current Chief Minister of Nagaland. Rio has also served as Chief Minister for three separate terms (2002–07, 2007–12 and 2012–14), making him the only Nagaland Chief Minister to have served three consecutive terms. He was a Member of Parliament from Nagaland in Lok Sabha
|9th Chief Minister of Nagaland|
8 March 2018
R. N. Ravi
|Preceded by||T. R. Zeliang|
12 March 2008 – 24 May 2014
|Preceded by||President’s Rule|
|Succeeded by||T. R. Zeliang|
6 March 2003 – 3 January 2008
|Preceded by||S. C. Jamir|
|Succeeded by||President’s Rule|
|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
26 May 2014 – 28 February 2018
|Preceded by||C M Chang|
|Succeeded by||Tokheho Yepthomi|
|Born||11 November 1950 (age 70)|
Tuophema, Kohima, Assam, India (present-day Nagaland)
|Political party||Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party|
|National Democratic Alliance|
Democratic Alliance of Nagaland
Early life and education
Rio is the son of Guolhoulie Rio of Tuophema village in Kohima District and belongs to the Angami Naga tribe. He received his early education from Baptist English School, Kohima and Sainik School, Purulia, West Bengal. He attended college at St Joseph’s College, Darjeeling and later graduated from Kohima Arts College.
An active student leader during his School and College days, Rio entered politics at a very young age. He had headed many organizations before becoming the Chief Minister of Nagaland. He served as the President of Kohima District United Democratic Front (UDF) Youth Wing in 1974. He was also appointed as the Chairman of Northern Angami Area Council in 1984. He also had been the honorary Vice President of Indian Red Cross Society Nagaland branch.
On joining politics, Rio was first elected to Nagaland Legislative Assembly as Congress (I) candidate from the Northern Angami-II constituency during the 7th General Elections of 1989. He was appointed as the Minister for Sports and School Education and subsequently as Minister for Higher & Technical Education and Art & Culture; also served as Chairman in Nagaland Industrial Development Corporation, Nagaland Khadi & Village Industries Board and Development Authority of Nagaland. Rio was again elected from the same Constituency in 1993 as Congress (I) candidate and appointed as Minister for Works & Housing. As a member of the Indian National Congress, Rio was Nagaland’s Home Minister as part of the cabinet headed by S. C. Jamir from 1998 till 2002 when he resigned from the ministry accusing Chief Minister S. C. Jamir of blocking a negotiated settlement of the vexed Naga issue.
After his resignation, Rio joined Naga People’s Front which partnered with other Naga regionalist parties and the state branch of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under his leadership to form the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN), a coalition which won the 2003 state elections, bringing the 10-year-long rule of the Indian National Congress in the state to an end. Rio subsequently took office as Chief Minister on 6 March 2003.
Before completing his first term, Rio was dismissed as Chief Minister when President’s Rule was imposed in Nagaland on 3 January 2008. However, his party emerged as the single largest party in the ensuing elections and Rio, as the leader of DAN, was invited by the state Governor to form the government on 12 March 2008. During the 2013 Nagaland State elections, NPF won a thumping majority and Rio was re-elected as Chief Minister for a third term.
Rio has played a key role in setting up the Music Task Force, the first music industry in the country. He was awarded The Mother Teresa Millennium award, for his outstanding leadership and contributions to politics in Kolkata in the year 2007.
Rio is married to Kaisa Rio, and they have five daughters and one son.
His brother Zhaleo Rio was elected to Nagaland Assembly in 2013 and 2019, and was deputy speaker of the assembly in 2018.
His mother Lt. Kevilhouü Rio died on January 1, 2020, at the age of 92. His father had died 30 years before his mother’s death.