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Members spar over politics
Correspondent Kohima, Mar 12 (NPN):
Published on 13 Mar. 2009 1:25 AM IST
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Debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address witnessed the highs and lows by the opposition Congress, with the notable exception of former chief minister K.L. Chishi, who was able to corner the treasury bench on several issues. The DAN Parliamentary Affairs Committee(DAN) came in for flak over its alleged snub of the Congress party in the run up to the recent three-day Naga Consultative Meet held from March 5 to 7. Responding to the opposition, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio explained about the existence of the government PAC with him as chairman and included ministers, parliamentary secretaries and senior government officials, as notified by the state chief secretary in March 208 and DAN PAC with Dr. T.M. Lotha as chairman. The invitation to the Naga Consultative Meet was issued jointly by the government PAC and the DAN PAC, he said. The chief minister also disclosed that the recent Naga Consultative meet resolved to form a common platform comprising of all Nagas, to carry forward the feelings and minds of the Nagas and also appealed and seek support and cooperation from the Congress party in the near future. Talking about the Naga Political issue, Rio said that it was common issue urged all members not bow down to party level or tribal level, but to work together to bring solution to the Naga political problem. Rio also took a dig on the Congress saying it was “maintaining the policy of equi-distance” and may not participate if it continued to stick to the Bedrock of Naga Society. He also said the Congress as the national party had ruled the country for 49 years out of the 62 years after independence. Admitting that the Congress was “a great party” till today and for which his party, the NPF, a small regional party has “high respect for the Congress”; Rio said if it (Congress) was serious about the Naga political problem it could have solved it during the past decades. Leader of Opposition Chingwang Konyak said that the people of state gave a fractured mandate in 2008 election and the mandate was not given to DAN, though the independent MLAs later joined the DAN camp. He also suggested to the government to look into various anomalies taking place in NERGA under Rural development. Earlier taking part in the discussion on the Governor’s address, former chief minister Congress member K.L. Chishi claimed that after the parliamentary and four by-polls, after two or three months, the budget prepared by the DAN would be passed by Congress. “I am optimistic. We cannot allow you to pass vote on account and we shall start preparing the budget” he told the house. He also charged that DAN for engineering resignations to four Congress members from the house and alleged they were tempted by money power. He also criticized the Naga Consultative meet motto-“one dream, one vision” and rather coined his theme as “one vision and one pursuit”. Reiterating that Congress would whole heartedly work for the Naga vision, Mr. Chishi pointed out that “the six-decade old Naga political problem cannot be a dream”. On the government appealed to switch light on March 28 between 8.30 -9.30 pm, he asked why only March 28, “we are without light at this hour. Why to switch off it will automatically go off?” On the health sector, Chishi said that “there is an urgent need for inputs” for the district hospital, CHC and PHCs. “Don’t extract from the sick people, let us give humanitarian service” he said. Senior Congress MLA I. Imkong who also took part in the discussion, said that 36 % of votes in the state were with the Congress and questioned why the DAN PAC chose to ignore the party for the Naga consultative meet. He also said that the Congress was always ready to co-operate on the Naga political issue. “If the DAN wants cooperation and really sincerely looking for solution, we are here to help” he stated. Imkong then went on a unity drive by urging the government to ask every body to participate on Earth day on March 28 by switching off lights for an hour. Congress MLA Hewoto wondered why only 26-27 departments were reflected in the current vote on accounts, out of the 78 departments in the state. T. Sentichuba and Kheto , both from Congress MLAs also participated in the discussion. Later the house adopted the motion of thanks by voice vote.

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