Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Responsibility of Oppn to ask questions: Cong

Staff Reporter

Reacting to State BJP’s remark that Congress was “focused on allegations, BJP on achievements”, All India Congress Committee (AICC) social media and digital platforms chairperson Supriya Shrinate reiterated that as a responsible opposition, Congress is duty bound to raise questions and hold governments accountable for their action on behalf of the people.
Addressing the media at Shunammite Inn here on Monday, Supriya pointed out that if the State government has not been doing anything meaningful in the past five years, then BJP should be able to respond to the questions raised by Congress. “You (BJP) can only make empty slogans like ‘Election for Solution’ and you come back again five years later and talk about ‘Election for solution’ again. Is that your big achievement?” she asked, terming BJP’s claim of achievements as a “colossal jumla”.
She also asked if BJP’s achievement also included corruption, poor roads, lack of clean drinking water supply, etc. Shrinate alleged that BJP had brought developments only for itself, its areas and its supporters, but neglected common people of the State.
“Maybe BJP wrongly believes that building of resorts for its party leaders is development,” she remarked, adding that all claims of double-engine government fell flat if one saw the erratic power supply in the State. She also asked about the efforts made to ensure 24×7 power supply in the State.
Pointing out the long travel time between Mariani and Mokokchung, She said a journey that should normally take two-and-a-half-hours, took six hours, while the time taken to travel from State BJP president Temjen Imna Along’s area of Longnak to Mangkolemba, 9-km road, took two hours due to the pathetic condition of roads.
She mentioned that Eastern Nagaland was languishing in under-development due to the continued betrayal of people. She promised that Congress would build a mini secretariat at Tuensang to ensure development and would also meet other long-standing demands.
Further, lashing out the BJP’s claim of achievements, Shrinate pointed out that the tagline of Nagaland as “Worst performing State in NE” in poverty alleviation, healthcare and infrastructure was given by NITI Aayog. She pointed out that data was collected by NITI Aayog and not by the opposition.
She alleged that rampant corruption and lack of development in the State had made youth suffer the most. “In a state where every house has a sportsman, there is no access to world class sporting facilities. No effort has been made by this government to improve the job sector either,” she added.
Also hitting out at BJP for frequent use of Enforcement Directorate (ED), she mentioned that ED had also registered case against the associates of chief minister Neiphiu Rio, but it was ultimately given a quiet burial. “A lid may have been put on the case against Rio filed by ED, but that conspicuous silence also proves the unholy nexus in the heart of decision-making in Nagaland,” she said.
Shrinate also countered the statements made by Union minister John Barla by questioning why he and his party (BJP) were silent when statues of Lord Jesus Christ were broken and smashed on Christmas Day, priests and nuns attacked in Karnataka, etc. She lamented that minorities, including Christians, were being attacked all over the country, and the BJP continued to remain silent.
On the statement that many BJP leaders received their education from Christian institutions, she lamented that these leaders did not learn about peace and brotherhood. For, she reasoned that had they, then they would have striven for peace, harmony and brotherhood.
“It is very hypocritical of Barla to come here and make those claims. But, why Christians suffer in States where your party is in power?” she questioned.
She asserted that one could not say something in Nagaland but do the complete opposite where they were in power. “At least, practise what you preach,” she quipped.
She also reiterated the unconditional support of Rahul Gandhi to Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre on the issue of 33% reservation for women, but lamented that even after nine years since it had been in the power, BJP had totally ignored it.
Priorities of Congress: Shrinate assured that Congress would focus primarily on hiking monthly old-age pension to Rs 3,000, building mini secretariat in Tuensang, full and timely payment of MGNREGA dues, interest-free loans for higher education, clean drinking water to every household, compulsory vocational training for youth after HSLC and also a review of old-age pension Scheme.
She noted that time had come for Nagaland to seek answers and make those in power accountable. She also appealed to people to give Congress a chance so that the party could lay the foundation for development, growth, etc, while also lay preserve and promote local culture and tradition.
She said it was for the people to decide, but noted that it was the people who were suffering.
“Let us not belittle the intelligence of people or their ability to judge who would be their best representatives and what they done for them,” she underlined.


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