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6-hr Cong bandh on Mar.20, 6 am-12 noon bandh; Cong demands resignation of tainted ministers & DAN’s dismissal
Correspondent KOHIMA, MAR 16 (NPN)
Published on 17 Mar. 2010 12:13 AM IST
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Demanding immediate dismissal of the ruling DAN government in view of failures on various fronts, the opposition Congress has called for six hours statewide bandh on March 20 next (Saturday) as a symbolic protest against the DAN government’s alleged misrule in the state. NPCC president, I. Imkong and Opposition leader, Tokheho Yepthomi informed this while addressing a press conference at the office chamber of the NPCC president at the Congress Bhavan here Tuesday afternoon. The total bandh would be effective from 6 am to 12 noon and enforced in all the district headquarters including Kohima by the respective DCCs. It also urged all educational institutions and business establishments to remain closed and vehicle off roads during the bandh period. Except for police, paramilitary, medical and media, no other would be exempted from the purview of the bandh, the Congress leaders said. Saturday was chosen for the bandh so as not to disturb the functioning of offices and not to create much inconvenience to the public as it was only a symbolic protest, NPCC president said. The opposition Congress demanded immediate dismissal of the DAN government in view of alleged complete failure, rampant corruption and mismanagement by the government and listed out 10 points including various scams that continue to haunt the state. Among the 10 points, that was listed in a hand out, included alleged financial mismanagement and rampant corruption, bogus teachers appointment scam, coal scam, Nagaland Sugarmill VRS scam, NREGA scam, PWD road scam, transport subsidy scam, NPSC answer script swapping scam, Singphan Wild Life Hunting scam and for not holding the municipal and town council election on time. It alleged that the DAN government was faced with huge liability and unable to present a full budget in the sixth session scheduled to be held shortly. “They have to take refuge on the Report of the 13th Finance Commission for their financial irregularities. They have also failed to implement 6th Finance Commission ROP whereas other States have already implemented the same as per Government of India guidelines w.e.f January 2006,” it stated. On the bogus teachers appointment scam, the Congress pointed out that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Vigilance Commission of Nagaland has confirmed 1158 bogus teachers and 1095 doubtful teachers appointed by the Education Department during the DAN government’s rule and 1084 teachers verified as absent. In this regard, it demanded the resignations of the successive ministers of DAN whoever was in-charge of School Education and be answerable to the people. Further, it also demanded for a full inquiry into the misappropriation and financial mismanagement of Rs.2419 lakhs supposedly meant for salaries of fictitious teachers. Congress party pointed out that the CBI had filed a case of criminal conspiracy and forgery for the purpose of cheating and criminal misconduct in the Gauhati High Court against the Secretary, Department of Food and Civil Supplies in the Coal scam. However, the state government has “refused to grant CBI prosecution sanction in a bid to hide the corruption,” it alleged. Similarly, it also pointed out that the CBI which had probed into the Nagaland Sugar Mill staff VRS scam had proved the accused guilty of the crime and sought state government’s sanction for prosecution of the guilty but the DAN government rejected the application of even the premier investigation agency. The Congress said that the government rejected the application in order to protect the accused who was the incumbent lone Rajya Sabha member from the state, Khekiho Zhimomi and his accomplice in the Rs.1.23 crore scam. Further, the opposition Congress also charged Khekiho Zhimomi who was also the former Industry minister Khekiho Zhimomi in the Transport Subsidy scam and alleged that he along with his henchman Jordanian national Khaled had deducted major share of fund from the beneficiaries account from Vijaya Bank in Dimapur and the beneficiaries were deprived of their rights and were suffering. On NREGA scheme, it alleged that due to rampant corruption, the public had filed a PIL in the Gauhati High Court to secure justice. The Congress said it was “insulting to the people to read that Nagaland stands second in implementation of NREGS with 74.1 man-days whereas the government has not even distributed Job Cards.” Regarding the PWD Road Scam, it pointed out that the government funds worth Rs.21 crore was sanctioned for Agri-Link roads under Nagaland Road Development project in October 2007 but alleged that wide spread corruption has crippled the works. Moreover, the accused Chief Engineer in whose house Rs.2.7 crore in cash was seized by the Vigilance Department was a free man on bail. It alleged that no action has been initiated or investigation instituted against the chief minister who was also accused of accepting bribe. It went on to allege that the 12th Finance Commission had awarded Rs.30 crores for road projects but Rs.20 crores have been misused by the government which also failed to take any punitive action after the ENSF highlighted deplorable road condition and maintenance along the NH-155. On the NPSC answer script swapping scam, the opposition pointed out that the investigating agency had submitted its report to the Government but no action has been taken so far. Two sons of a parliamentary secretary were also named in the scam, but the issue appeared to be hushed up by those in power in order to protect its tainted member, the Congress said. “The Parliamentary Secretary concerned, bereft of any moral standing, continues to hold office instead of resigning on moral ground in the interest of justice,” it stated. On the Civic body election, the opposition appreciated the view of the NPF president wanting to maintain cohesiveness among the MLAs under the banner of the Legislators’ Forum. However, it pointed out that Municipal and Town Council elections have nothing to do with the ongoing peace process and demanded that the constitutional exercise of election to civic bodies be held at the earliest. No rural or urban settlement can function without a civic body or local self government, it added. The Congress party also renewed the allegations against two DAN ministers including the forest and environment minister for hunting endangered species inside Singphan Wildlife Sanctuary. Stating that the issue was “desperately hushed up,” the Congress went on to allege that one of the ministers had even threatened to sue the villagers for crores of rupees unless they retracted their statements thereby compelling some of the latter to retract their statements.

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