Sunday, June 4, 2023

Rio misleading Nagas on solution: NPCC

Staff Reporter


Veteran Congress leaders– K. Therie, NPCC president and K.L. Chishi former chief minister- have taken on chief minister Neiphiu Rio for his message on the 76th anniversary of India’s Independence Day at Kohima.
Therie: Taking on Rio for urging upon Nagas to be “patient” for solution, NPCC president K. Therie pointed that it has been 25 years of cease fire and subsequent negotiations and now Rio was still “asking us to be patient”.
Talking to media persons here at Congress Bhavan, Therie maintained that Rio had repeated only what the United Naga Council (UNC) Manipur had said. He said UNC had appealed to all Nagas to be “patient and not to be in a hurry” as there was no need to be in any hurry, for solution.
Therie said those in UNC areas in the hill districts of Manipur, may not be in any hurry but people of Nagaland who have been shouldering the problem for several decades want solution as they were concerned about the future of their children.
Therie held the chief minister and the ‘opposition-less’ UDA coalition government responsible for delay in solution. “They (UDA) are the roadblock to solution” said Therie. He cited the July 16 resolution by the Parliamentary Core Committee on Naga Political Issue (PCCoNPI) and CSOs endorsing the Framework Agreement and the Agreed Position and acknowledging that official negotiations concluded on October 31, 2019.
However, Therie said no official delegation from the state went to meet either the prime minister or home minister to apprise them of the resolution. Therie thundered “This is a betrayal. Instead of doing that, they signed a seat-sharing deal and then they came back. I think it’s time for the people, for the voters to realize that this (UDA) government is a traitor.”
He said the ruling party leaders have been betraying the people of the state at numerous times and years as they wanted election and not solution”. He asked “Do you think these MLAs will resign and pave the way for a solution? No. Therefore, we don’t see Rio and his government ever pursuing political solution in Nagaland.”
Therie said that his party therefore wants the people of Nagaland to know that Congress is going to fight the next election likely to be held in December 2022 with or without solution. Therie said “the people should be prepared either for no solution for many years to come or for solution by throwing out the UDA government. And the choice is left to the people”.
He also attacked the ambivalence of BJP for giving false promises. Therie said central BJP leaders have been mouthing solution but nothing has happened. He said even prime minister Narendra Modi had repeated on several occasions that the Naga political had been resolved. “We can no longer trust the central leaders anymore” said Therie.
When it came to election, Therie implied that BJP had fought election in Manipur with the support of “insurgent groups” and will be doing the same again in Nagaland. Therie said people in the state cannot expect Central government to deliver political solution because for its leaders
“winning the election is more important than resolving the political problem”. He said “for India, cease fire agreement is the solution”.
Therie lamented that “it is the Nagas of Nagaland and Nagas in the North East, who need solution but that is not in the mind of BJP”.
KL Chishi: Meanwhile, former chief minister and senior Congress leader KL Chishi, who too addressed the media, took a dig at chief minister Neiphiu Rio’s Independence Day speech claiming that the state was doing well in all development aspects and that the financial position was sound.
He, however, implied that the chief minister had misled the people as the Union Finance Minister in the recently held Parliament session had categorically stated that Nagaland had a whooping debt of over Rs. 15800 crores. “Isn’t that a fallacy,” Chishi asked and wondered whether the statement made by the union finance minister in the Parliament or the claims made by the chief minister was the truth.
He said if the State’s financial position was strong, why were the salaries of the lower section/work charge government employees being withheld.
Recalling one of the Assembly sessions, Chishi said that for the first time in the history of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, Neiphiu Rio’s government transacted business for just 15 minutes and dispersed.
Chishi asked whether this was the way to transact business for the people.
He also recalled that the government led by Rio had on various occasions assured of acting as a facilitator in the Naga peace process. Hence, he asked what changes it had brought about in more than four-and-a-half years.
Comparing the scenario of Nagaland with neighbouring States, he observed that while other States had been developing by leaps and bounds, the only changes that had been brought about in Nagaland were rampant corruption, nepotism, favouritism, unemployment, freeze on appointments, non-payment of salaries to government employees and slashing of funds under MNREGA and VDB, etc.
Chishi also referred to the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act and acknowledged that it was not in the minds of legislators at that time, but the Congress government was forced to introduce the Bill in Nagaland Legislative Assembly.
However, he alleged that business establishments owned by some leaders were today not only selling Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) but even the imported ones. He admitted that emergence of night clubs had only further made the NLTP Act a mockery.
While stating that Nagaland being a predominantly Christian State, claiming to be ‘Nagaland for Christ’, Chishi lamented and compared it with Sodom and Gomorrah– notoriously sinful cities in the biblical book of Genesis.
He said “when the leader or the leaders cannot control themselves how is it that we should continue with prohibition.” When security forces are directed to seize and raid other places, what about the businesses owned by the leaders, Chishi questioned.


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