Mr. Mhonlumo, the Honourable MLA from Bhandari A/C disclosed that he is under threat at the moment for putting both Starred and Un-Starred Questions relating to appointments so far made during 2013 till 2017 under Home Department. The MLA did not name anyone by name who is/are threatening him openly or indirectly according to paper reports. Yet, it is obvious as to whom those questions will give embarrassment when so responded. Recently, I wrote a brief item on the kind of terrorism we have in Nagaland. I am talking about Naga terrorism which Mr. Mhonlumo is exactly facing now. Luckily, the MLA is under the protection of State Govt. as per entitlement. Yet, thousands of common man without Police guard have been facing such threats from similar elements day in day out. We, the Nagas, are the Frankenstein and have to face and be afraid of our own creations.
This is my second item on the ethics and proprieties of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly. The MLA in question is said to have put up both Stared and Un-Starred questions. For the sake of those ignorant, let me enlighten the difference between a Starred Question and an Un-Starred question. When a Minister receives a Starred Question on a given issue, he is bound to give a verbal reply to the questioner in the morning session between 9:30 a.m. till 10:30 a.m. lest the Speaker extends the Question-Answer hour. When not satisfied with the reply, the questioner has the right to put supplementary question or questions. The questioner can be joined by any other Member to ask supplementary questions specifically relating to the original issue in question. The arrogant reply or misleading reply may lead the questioner to go a step further on the same issue by means of Calling Attention to matters of Public Importance, etc. Secondly, the Un-Starred Question on any issue will be answered in written which will be laid on the table of 60 Members on the day it is scheduled to reply. During our days, when the answers to Starred questions are completed in advance before 10:30 am, the Speaker used to cover Un-Starred questions within the available minutes.
In the instant case, as the MLA from Bhandari has sought information about appointment so far made in Home Department during the last 4 years under Un-Starred question, perhaps a bulky compilation of the answer papers will have to be laid on the table according to the nature of the question. As per the Assembly norms, no Department is allowed to give manipulated or incomplete or false reply be it to Starred or Un-Starred questions. Whereas, the Home Department seems to lack courage and confidence to dutifully provide answers to those questions in the ensuing Session of NLA for reasons best known to the staff in Home Department. Lest the questions are withdrawn as threatened, the Home Department has no option but to appropriately reply mandatorily both verbally and in written by Home Minister.
Indeed, I support the Honourable MLA from Bhandari not for any other reason but for putting relevant question on recruitment of manpower in Home Department. Not only Home Department but there have been rampant recruitments of both eligible and illegible people including people from mainland India into service under DAN Govt. during the last 14 years. Hopefully more exposures will take place of how people from UP, Bihar and Nepal whose number exceeded the number of inductees from weaker tribes in certain Department in Nagaland today. Most of the Departments have flouted the recruitment rules when fortunate ones were accommodated by both politicians and bureaucrats. Another burden is to regularise the services of the appointees who have been in service for 3 years continuously as per revised rule made during DAN Govt. as against the backdrop of 5 years service during the erstwhile Congress Govt.
I do not forget how Dimapur Sugar Mill failed to survive though I did not man the Mill even once. The most major factor that coiled Sugar Mill to wind up was excess staff. Against the requirement of 350 staff to run the Mill there were 1600 odd staff. The earning of the Mill could hardly meet the salary component. To feed the staff became the priority rather than feeding the Mill with raw materials. The Mill failed to pay sugarcane growers who eventually gave up cultivation of the crop since they had no scope of marketing their crop. Finally Nagaland Sugar Mill which had the viability turned into history of old.
The State of Nagaland is racing, not inching, towards the fate of yesteryear’s Nagaland Sugar Mill. There have been appointment sprees without taking manpower requirement, vacancies and recruitment rules into consideration under the DAN Govt. The dilapidated roads, the shambled Govt. buildings particularly in rural areas, the pitiable education and medical facilities and the rest of essential public services have now become secondary. Who is complaining about the above public facilities and amenities? The attention of people in authority was drawn to 7th ROP and non-release of salaries to employees, no doubt genuine but not to the maintenance of common asset. All what fund we get from Delhi has to be consumed first by Govt. employees, the left over if for percentage deduction and ultimately nothing is left for development. At this rate how Nagaland State will survive as though the Statehood was created for the Govt. employees and not for the majority common man, and as though Nagaland belongs to employees and not to common man.
It is therefore very right for MLA M. Kikon from Bhandari to question Home Department on recruitment of staff. It is wrong for him and for any other MLA to remain mute when Nagaland is being devoured under the mismanagement by DAN Govt led by NPF.
I hope Mr. Mhonlumo Kikon, Honourable MLA will retain his honour by remaining firm with his stand under the prevailing circumstances without succumbing to money power or threat.